Turkey ranked first among European countries as hotel occupancy rate in the country grew by more than 18 percent in 2017.
In a statement yesterday, the Turkey Hoteliers Association (TÜROB) said the figures were revealed in a recent survey conducted by a leading data and analysis company STR Global that focused on the hotel occupancy rates of countries last year.
The survey found that in 2017 Turkey's average occupancy rate rose to 60.2 percent with an increase of 18 percent. This rate reached 62.6 percent in Istanbul with an increase of 26 percent and 59.8 percent in Antalya with a rise of 11.5 percent.
However, the average rate paid for rooms sold in Turkey fell by 12 percent to 66.8 euros. In Istanbul, on the other hand, the average rate paid for rooms dropped by 14 percent to 76.3 euros, followed by Antalya with 74.6 euros, experiencing a 5.2 percent decrease.
In the revenue per available room (RevPAR), Turkey's average rose by 3.3 percent to 40.2 euros compared to the previous year, while RevPAR reached 47.7 euros in Istanbul with an increase of 8.4 percent and 44.6 euros in Antalya with an increase of 5.4 percent.
Despite registering the highest growth in hotel occupancy rates last year, Turkey also experienced the biggest loss in average daily rate (ADR) with a decrease of 12.4 percent, reaching 66.8 euros.
On a city-by-city basis, the fastest rise was experienced in Istanbul, reaching 62.5 percent in occupancy rate with an increase of 26 percent, while the European destination, which suffered the biggest losses in room prices, was again Istanbul, decreasing by 14 percent to 76.3 euros.
The hotel occupancy rate last year was at 78.3 percent in Ireland, 77.4 percent in Britain, 75.6 percent in Malta, 74.6 percent in Spain, 74.3 percent in the Netherlands and 74.2 percent in Austria and 72.3 percent in Greece.
In terms of average room prices, Switzerland led the way with 192.8 euros in Europe, followed by Italy with 142.8 euros, Malta with 138.3 euros, Croatia with 135.9 euros, Ireland with 125.9 euros, Greece with 119.7 euros, France with 118.1 euros, the Netherlands with 117.9 euros, Spain with 114.1 euros, Portugal with 110.3 euros, the United Kingdom with 105.2 euros, Finland with 103.5 euros, Belgium with 102.3 euros, Germany with 101.5 euros and Austria with 101.1 euros.
Assessing the 2017 figures, TÜROB President Timur Bayındır said the negative effect of the decline in prices was clearly reflected in Turkey's tourism revenues. Bayındır also noted that even though they have yet to return to the desired level in prices, they have raised their hopes for 2018 and the following years.
He said that impressions from international fairs are raising hopes for 2018 and that signs from the European markets regarding the backbone of Turkish tourism were pleasing.
Bayındır hoped for a rising trend in 2018 and added that they could also catch a double-digit increase in tourism figures.
"However, it would be wrong to expect the upward trend in prices to be so fast
. We have to contemplate on how we can increase our prices faster without losing our current customers," he said. "Rather than the increase in the number of tourists, we need to focus on raising the prices. This should be the most important project in 2018."
He also pointed out that tourism professionals should also be resistant to the price.
"We should not raise prices fast, but we should improve the prices with normal increases which will not disturb us and our customers. I would like to point out that it is not possible to pull down the prices anymore," he added.