Turkish tourism to benefit from Mideast turmoil


The recent outbreak of severe political turmoil and civilian clashes in Mediterranean countries like Tunisia and Egypt is expected to redirect large numbers of European tourists to Turkey for the summer due to more or less equivalent price margins in these countries.

Europe Turkey Tourism Business Council President and TUI Turkey Representative Hüreyin Baraner said civil war and terror were the greatest threat against a country’s tourism sector and the sector chiefs agreed that due to the political instability threatening Tunisia and Egypt, which have been Turkey’s biggest competitors in the region, French, English and German tourists will change their destinations in favor of Turkey’s southern coast.

According to a press release by Hey Travel Trends, the redirection of the travelers who abstain from visiting Tunisia and Egypt and the high demand from the Middle Eastern countries will directly affect the occupancy rates in Turkish hotels.

Hey Travel Trends Marketing Director Tunç Göz said in a press statement that the political upheaval in Tunisia was expected to increase the number of visitors coming from Europe to Turkey. “When this adds up to the already high demand from the Middle Eastern market, Turkish domestic tourists might not be able to find vacant rooms in Turkish hotels this summer let alone finding affordable ones.” He said domestic tourists should act immediately to benefit from early booking opportunities.

According to World Tourism Organization’s figures on the tourist flow in the Mediterranean basin, Spain ranked top with 58 million visitors in 2010, followed by Italy with 43 million, Turkey with 29 million and Egypt with 16 million. Tunisia registered 10 million tourists in 2010, according to the data.