Hotel owners are to meet with banks to discuss carrying out sales operations in rubles. Osman Ayık, the chairman of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED), said if the exchange rate risk were mitigated, 1,500 hotels would start using the ruble for their sales operations. Tourism businesses have taken the initiative for trade in the local currency.
Hoteliers who make their sales to Russia using the ruble instead of the U.S. dollar are preparing to meet banks with this month. Tourism investors aspiring to shield themselves against exchange rate risks will start using the ruble in the Russian market. If agreement is secured, 1,500 hotels that sell rooms to Russian tourists will start using the ruble instead of the greenback in their transactions.
Chairman Ayık stated that they want to settle the issue of trading in rubles before the new season. "However, the exchange rate risk still prevails. A month ago, the dollar was traded at 70 rubles, yet today the dollar/ruble parity stands around 50. We do not know what will happen two months from now. Because of this volatility, we set our prices with the U.S. dollar. To start trading in local currencies, we need to sort out TL/ruble parity," Ayık said.
He noted that the federation will meet financial institutions, including Denizbank, which is owned by Russian Sberbank and has already made available ruble withdrawal from the banks' ATMs and started providing call center services in the Russian language. "If TL/ruble parity is stabilized, we aim to start using the ruble in sales transactions before the new season, which begins in March," Ayık said, underscoring that hotel owners support a stable exchange rate because they start drawing up their plans one year beforehand. Ayık added that a stable exchange rate will enable hotel owners to see the future.
Moreover, trade in local currencies will also positively contribute to the number of tourists, Ayık pointed out. According to the TÜROFED chair, since prices are set in U.S. dollars, tour operators are at risk emanating from any hike in the exchange rate; accordingly, they reflect this risk in their vacation packages. The risks reflected in prices create a disadvantageous situation for marketing, which, Ayık claims, will be resolved through stable parity and create a situation in favor of Russian tourists. This whole situation, if resolved, will increase Turkey's charm, according to Ayık. He said that trade in rubles will provide hoteliers an important experience and that if an agreement is reached with other countries, their local currencies as a medium of exchange for transactions in tourism can be used, as well.
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