< /p>“Tourism is the universal language of the world” – but in the current situation, the “five fragile eggs” folded into the “tourist basket” of Antalya are ready to break at any moment – and the loss of tourism will be more serious than during the pandemic. This assessment of the situation was voiced in the Turkish media by the president of the tourism working group of the Antalya City Council, Recep Yavuz. According to him, the general crisis has affected the politics and economy of the whole world – and the damage it has caused “will be greater and more irreversible” than Covid 19.
For Antalya, the expert added, the situation is especially painful – although the city receives tourists from 60 countries, the basis of tourism in it is the following “quintet”:
“These 5 countries account for at least 70% of Antalya's tourism over the past 5 years. Russia and Ukraine provided more than 50%, especially during the crisis years. As soon as you remove these five, there will be no tourism in Antalya,” the expert emphasized. He further stated that “these five eggs in our tourist basket, which we must carefully protect.” But for now, “all five are in conflict with each other,” he added. And this is what will define tourism in 2022.
He went on to say that Ukraine, which is going through “the most difficult days in its history”, will require at least several years to return to normal life and tourism. Here, according to Mr. Yavuz, one can only count on “a very limited number of people who want to get out of the depression and want a little change of scenery, and whose budget is suitable for this.”
As for Russia, the key issue for the Turks is “when and where” the special operation will end, as well as “how the sanctions will expand and continue.” Here is a quote from Mr. Yavuz: “If, despite everything that has happened, the peace process is launched, then the Russians, who do not have many options to leave due to sanctions and the economic situation, can come to Antalya, albeit in a small quantity. Russia still needs Turkey, one of the rare countries with diplomatic relations in these circumstances,” he assured. Although he recalled that Turkey is a member of NATO and Russia “follows its every step” in relation to Ukraine.
As for the rest of the “eggs in the basket”, the expert noted one interesting trend regarding Germany. “At least half of the tourists on planes from Germany are not Germans. Apart from Turkish citizens in Germany, Turkey has become an important choice for citizens of many other countries, from Iran, Bosnia, Syria and Morocco, who have come to Germany and settled there. This group has a different attitude to the crisis than the Germans and does not refuse to leave,” the expert said. He also noted that Turkey has not been among the favorites of the German market lately – the main resorts for the Germans were the Canary Islands, Mallorca, and also the islands of Greece. However, Turkey still received 3.4 million tourists from there. But they do not count on this market, especially in Antalya. “The Germans will turn their faces to the west this year. However, the number of tourists from Germany this year exceeds the figures of the last two years and is likely to approach the figures of 2019,” the expert added.
Another egg is Poland, which, according to the Turk, “is under economic and psychological pressure.” “Despite this, tourism professionals predict that Poland could increase its market share by 5% last year and enter the top three,” he said. At the same time, it seems that his hopes that “hotels will not have to be divided into Russian, German and Polish” will not come true. “A group of Poles looking for a hotel last week said: “If you confirm that there will be no Russian tourists in your hotel, we will come!” – said the Poles.
And finally, the British – according to Yavuz, “we should not be surprised if 1 million British tourists suddenly arrive in Antalya this year.” “England, which closed its doors in the summer because it did not consider Turkey safe last year, was the first country to open its doors to us this year. We won't be surprised if 1 million British tourists suddenly come to Antalya this year,” the expert said. However, at the end of his speech, he admitted that “these days, numerical predictions are nothing but fortunetelling.”
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