Turkey aims to up its share in luxury tourism market

Turkey, whose share in the world’s upper segment tourism destinations is increasing day by day, is creating strong alternatives for high-income tourists with luxury hotel investments.

These facilities are supported by brand restaurants, marinas, golf courses and unique bays.

This summer, the share of British tourists staying at these high-end facilities is expected to be high. While the war in Ukraine casts doubt on the arrival of Russian and Ukrainian tourists,a large number of tourists are also expected from Germany, France and the United States. Domestic tourists are also expected to take a significant share in luxury hotel stays.

“Russia, Ukraine and former Soviet Union countries meet 15 percent of our occupancy. We can cover the loss in these segments from the domestic market, Europe and the United Kingdom,” said Tunç Batum, general manager of Hilton Dalaman Sarıgerme Resort & Spa, a luxurious hotel in Fethiye on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

He added that domestic tourists, British and Europeans top the hotel’s reservation list.

D Maris Bay in Göcek continues to get reservations from Russia, while seeing an increase in interest from the European and U.S. markets.

Cenk Türkmenoğlu, the hotel’s general manager, said that the facility is mainly serving yacht tourists.

“During the season, there are many boats moored at our bay, and with the convenience of our hotel’s bay, a natural marina is formed,” he said.

“Many different yachts, including mega yachts, visit our hotel during the season, and it can be difficult to find a place because of the high demand. Apart from the hotel staff, we have a special yacht service team established to provide special services to boat owners.”

Amanruya Bodrum General Manager Igor Barba noted a global trend among high-income tourists in the post-pandemic period. He said that the popular resort town of Bodrum will see an increased interest.

“What we are witnessing is a return to some well-known destinations,” Barba said.

“While this is slow for the ever-popular Thailand, it is much faster for Southern European countries and all Mediterranean destinations. We will surely see the French and Italian riviera bloom again this summer. The Greek islands will also be a focus, but I’m sure the Turkish riviera will also get its fair share of high-income travelers, with Bodrum being the crown jewel.”

Ferman Doğan, general manager of Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum, agreed that the town would get its well-deserved place among this summer’s top destinations.

“Turkey, which is the fourth most preferred country in Germany and third in the Netherlands, receives more demand than other destinations,” he said.

“Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the U.K. show great interest in Turkey. We cannot attribute this situation only to the advantage in prices, I think that the quality of services offered by Turkey is the most important factor here.”

The loss in Ukrainian and Russian tourists can be compensated, Doğan added.

“In 2022, 2 million Russian tourists are expected to come to our country, but it would not be correct to say the same for Ukraine,” he said.

“There are significant efforts in Europe for substitute markets. TUI, the largest tour operator in Europe, announced that it plans to bring 1 million European tourists to Antalya and 500,000 tourists to Bodrum, Dalaman and Fethiye this year. It has already started negotiations with Turkish hotels for capacity increase for 2023.”


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