The Turkish tourism sector, which has achieved great success in the last 30 years, continues its story. Having raised the number of tourists from 2.6 million in 1985 to 40 million and the bed capacity from around 80,000 to 1.3 million, the sector suffered a loss in income and the number of tourists due to the coup attempt of July 15, terrorist attacks and perception management operations carried out abroad in 2016. However, it recovered last year and got back on its feet once again. Prepared to write a new success story this year, the tourism sector aims to reach 40 million tourists again.Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB) Chairman Timur Bayındır said the Turkish tourism sector followed a fluctuating course in the past but always managed to recover. "However, in today's situation, it is obvious that we are having sectoral distress. Now there is a need for a new move period in tourism and the applications to start this move," Bayındır said.
Bayındır said the demands and needs of the tourism sector and the developments in political, social, economic, cultural and technological fields change worldwide every day, suggesting that there is a need for applications to rise Turkey to the top league particularly in the price-quality ratio.
"We think that the decisions to be made in the Tourism Council, which has gathered after 15 years and organized for the third time, will pave the way for a new move period," Bayındır continued. "We see this period as a very valuable window of opportunity for us to complete the reforms."Bayındır noted that there is a need for regulations to encourage the continuity and efficient use of investments.
Turkey Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) Chairman Osman Ayık said the sector has left behind a distressing period. Recalling that in the first two months the number of tourists increased by more than 30 percent, Ayık said while the tourism revenues were about $26 million in 2017, this amount is expected to rise to over $30 million this year.
He also added that this year there is a strong demand from Russia and Germany, and that there is also activity in alternative markets such as China, North Korea and India."The demand in the Middle Eastern and Iranian markets is also quite good," Ayık said, underlining that this rate will be reflected positively in the employment figures.Evaluating the first quarter performance of the sector, Bayındır said the occupancy rates increased to 63.7 percent, which was 51.4 in the first three months of last year. The average daily rate (ADR), corresponding to the daily room fee, rose to 59.4 euros from last year's 56.1 euros. The revenue per available room (RevPAR) also hit 37.9 euros, which was recorded at 28.8 euros last year. Bayındır informed that the occupancy rates in Istanbul were calculated as 56.5 percent in March 2017 while the figure rose to 73.7 percent with a 30.4 percent increase.