The lifting of mutual visa regulations not only positively affects the business world; it has also provided a jump start for Turkey's already bustling tourism sector.
Anı Tur General Manager Levent Çardak says that they are seeing a fast-spreading trend of increasing demand for tours with visa-free nations. "Within the past two years, visa regulations with both Russia and Ukraine have been lifted. There has been a 700 percentile increase in demand for these destinations. When visa requirements were lifted with Mauritius and the Seychelles in 2012, we especially saw high demand from couples going on honeymoons" said Çardak. With Croatia to soon enter the EU, Turks are scrambling to visit Dubrovnik before the country is included in the visa-zone, says Çardak, sharing that last year they saw a 100 % increase in sales to this destination.
Pronto Tur Marketing Manager Sarp Özkar says they have experienced a 110 % increase compared to previous years in demand for tours to Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. "The lifting of visas eradicates practically 25% of additional costs on the prices of tours. Not only are people saved from the stress of applying for visas, one fourth of the budget they have set aside for their trip stays in their pockets," states Özkar.
DIRECT FLIGHTS HAVE ALSO BEEN INFLUENTIAL
Anı Tur General Manager Levent Çardak says that it has been a great advantage that Turkish Airlines has begun to offer direct flights to nations that have lifted visa regulations. "On November 24th, Turkish Airlines began offering direct flights to Maldives. The demand we saw for the Maldives in the period that immediately followed from November 24th to February 1st was more than double the total for the past two years combined," said Çardak.
While in the past they used to send customers on other airlines to Argentina, Çardak says that ever since THY began offering direct flights on December 11th they have seen a significant rise in demand and they are witnessing the same for Japan, despite it being a highly expensive destination.
This is a translation of an article originally written by Betül Alakent.