Turkish hoteliers are hopeful that tourism activity in 2024 will be as strong as it was last year or even better.
Türkiye is one of the major destinations for international travelers but conflicts hamper global tourism activity, said Müberra Eresin, the president of the Hotel Association of Türkiye (TÜROB), speaking on the sidelines of the EMITT East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Expo in Istanbul.
“Arrivals from distant destinations have been on the rise. The markets we focus on are Latin America, Argentina, Shiite, Colombia, India and Japan. While there is a war in our neighbors, we do not expect huge increases from Europe,” she said.
The prospects for city hotels will not be promising until April,but after that month, activity is expected to pick up, according to Eresin.
She noted that both the number of foreign tourists and tourism revenues increased last year but the hotel occupancy rate fell 10 percent, while hotel prices increased.
Foreign tourist arrivals increased more than 10 percent in 2023 from the previous year to 49.2 million. Including Turks residing abroad, the number of visitors reached 56.7 million, up 10.3 percent.
The country’s tourism revenues, on the other hand, leaped 17 percent last year to $54.3 billion.
Türkiye aims for 60 million visitors and $60 billion of tourism revenues in 2024, Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy last month.
“We made a good start to 2023 but the earthquakes had adverse impacts. The effects of the quakes continued well into June. Overall, 2023 was a difficult but good year [for the tourism sector],” said Erkan Yağcı, the president of the Türkiye Hoteliers’ Federation (TÜROFED).
This year will provide a test for the tourism industry, he added, referring to higher hotel prices.
“It will be a test to see whether foreign tourists would be willing to pay for them. We need to focus more on tourism revenues than the number of tourists. We need to keep the prices where they are now,” Yağcı said.