Number of German tourists to rise by 15 pct in 2018

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 23.10.2017 20:27

After a recent decline, the number of German tourists visiting Turkey is expected to improve next year, Michael Frenzel, president of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry, said.

Speaking to Reuters, Frenzel said early reservations point to a 15 percent to 20 percent rise in the number of German tourists visiting Turkey next year.

"Current bookings show a strong increase in German tourists visiting Turkey. We may see a 15 percent to 20 percent growth in 2018 according to early reservations," he said over the weekend during a tourism event in southern Turkey's Antalya.

According to the Culture and Tourism Ministry, some 2.5 million German tourists visited Turkey during the first eight months of this year. This figure stood at 2.71 million and 3.5 million in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Pointing out security concerns as the cause behind the decline, Frenzel said: "The decline was clearly caused by security concerns. Politics is changing very fast, and I do not think that political developments influence people's decisions. But successive attacks form a certain picture in people's minds, and it takes a certain period of time to recover."

The quality of the Turkish holiday packages is very high, Frenzel said, adding that it is the price-quality balance that attracts tourists to Turkey.

"The pricing here is very competitive when compared to other destinations. This helps people come back to Turkey," Frenzel said.

Coşkun Yurt, vice chairman of the board of directors at OTI Holding, an active player in Turkey's tourism sector, claimed that package prices have fallen by more than 30 percent since 2014.

The decline was caused by economic downturns in Russia and Ukraine, two of Turkey's biggest tourism markets, and a decrease in the total number of tourists, he said.

Frenzel was in Turkey to attend a program organized by OTI Holding to mark its 25th anniversary. The tourism company brought the highest number of tourists to the country in 2017.

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