The Russian effect: Best and worst-case scenarios for the future of Antalya's tourism industry
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULFeb 12, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Feb 12, 2016 12:00 am
The Chamber of Trade and Commerce in Antalya (ATSO) issued a report titled, "The Effects of Russian Sanctions on Antalya's Economy and the Suggested Measures," to minimize the damaging effects of the current crisis between Turkey and Russia on Antalya. The report was presented by ATSO President Davut Çetin to Mahir Ünal, Turkey's Culture and Tourism minister.
According to the report, Russia is the benefactor of more than one-third of Antalya's economic output and the recipient of two-thirds of agricultural exports in the region. There was an 18 percent decline in the number of Russian tourists who visited Antalya in 2015 and, aside from direct revenues, the discounts - offered in efforts to draw more tourists to a region hit hard by the effects of the Turkish-Russian crisis - also damaged the province's economy. Furthermore, the tourism sector in Antalya is losing its strength to withstand such losses and the report proposes four scenarios for overcoming the problem. Realization of the scenarios could have a major impact on the economy, considering the importance of Antalya's tourism on the country's economy as a whole.
The first scenario is the worst-case scenario, predicting a large crisis emerging as a result of the loss of the entire Russian market, a regression continuing in the European market and the loss of 3 million to 3.5 million tourists, in addition to the losses inflicted by discounts. This possibility would result in a loss of revenues exceeding $4.5 billion to $5 billion - a loss of $8 billion to $9 billion in revenue for the economy as a whole.
Additionally, the moderate crisis scenario projects a major loss of up to 90 percent of the Russian market due to deteriorating social, cultural and economic relations between Turkey and Russia, resulting in a loss of $3 billion.
On the other hand, the optimistic scenario predicts a loss of 50 percent in the Russian market with a small-scale economic crisis along with growth in alternative markets. This would mean a revenue loss totaling $1 billion for the province of Antalya.
The best-case scenario means the end of the crisis with Russia, the lifting of sanctions imposed on Turkey by Russia, the de-escalation of regional terror, the end of the Syrian civil war and a recovery in European markets. However, the report stressed that this is not a realistic scenario and, therefore, there is only a slight chance that this scenario will occur.
The report included 10 suggestions for improvement of the tourism sector, which include transforming EXPO 2016 into a major promotional opportunity and hosting concerts in Antalya for international superstars such as Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Bieber. Stressing that the tourism crisis should be taken seriously, the report also underlined that a crisis desk should established, an emergency action plan be implemented, campaigns for target markets be developed and the frequency of promotions, advertisements and public relations campaigns for target markets and audiences be increased, mainly in Chinese and Indian markets.