The number of Russian tourists in Turkey in the summer “is unlikely to fall below 2 million”: this is how local experts reassured Turkish hotels. At the same time, forecasts are pouring in in abundance – optimists believe that Turkey will generally accept at least 10 million Russians alone – who simply will have nowhere to go; pessimists – that the tourist flow to Turkey, in principle, will rise against the backdrop of the global crisis.
For the most part, however, representatives of the tourism sector, assessing recent developments, are somewhere in the middle. “Under normal circumstances, after March 15, an active increase in bookings in Russia would begin, but in this situation it is not necessary to wait for it. However, there are no cancellations at the moment,” said Bulent Bulbuloglu, Vice President of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED). He noted that although there were few bookings for the summer season from Russia, those who have already booked summer tours are in no hurry to refuse them.
However, the main target audience of Turkish resorts will obviously be in a vulnerable position, the expert added. “About 40% of the Russians who came to Turkey were Russians with an average income. I think there will be a lot of losses in this segment. However, there are chances that high-income Russians will prefer Turkey,” he said. As a result, the expert tries to be more or less on the side of the optimists: “It is difficult to predict without imagining the future, but I do not think that the number of Russian tourists will fall below 2 million,” he said. At the same time, the expert “does not expect tourists from Ukraine.”
A similar assessment was voiced by the president of the Aegean Union of Tourism Enterprises and Accommodation (ETIK) Mehmet Isler. According to his estimates, about 30% of the expected Russian tourist flow will come. “Russian tourists heading to European countries can also turn their route to Turkey. I think that about 2 million tourists will come from Russia,” he estimated, and added that there is no need to wait for tourists from Ukraine.
He also appreciated the European perspectives. “Now bookings are going well in the markets of Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. There are still no booking cancellations in Europe, but there is a slowdown in its pace. At the same time, bookings from central Europe have ceased. We think this is due to the problem of refugees who entered Poland, Romania, as well as the economic crisis. Now they are preparing for other conditions there,” he said.
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