Spain’s loss is Turkey’s tourist gain
Tourists are abandoning Spain in favour of Turkish holidays this year. Prices are sending would-be tourists away from the European destination in search of favourably priced holidays in upmarket apartments and luxury villas in Turkey.
The recent trend particularly affects German and Russian holidaymakers, who are flocking to Turkey, especially the Antalya region. The draw for German and Russian tourists is Turkey’s stable prices, which remain more or less at 2017 levels, as confirmed by tour operators.
Antalya now a top 10 German destination
Following Turkey and Germany’s diplomatic spat last year, numbers of visiting Germans dropped, to the chagrin of Turks, who have always prided themselves on Turkey and Germany’s longstanding and positive relationship.
Now, it looks like the rift has healed - and Turkey’s low prices are likely part of the salve. German package holiday bookings to Antalya soared in January, according to Traveltainment. The travel company recorded a 99 percent rise in January, which followed December’s 36 percent uptick and November’s 49 percent improvement.
The figures have pushed Antalya into Germans’ top 10 holiday destinations, a reassuring sign that Turkey and Germany’s rift is now ancient history.
In contrast, German bookings to Spain slumped significantly. Demand for Majorca and Palma holidays fell by 15 percent, while Canary Islands package holiday bookings also saw a downward trend, with Tenerife bookings down by a fifth, and Arrecife holidays slumping by a quarter.
Five million Russians tipped to visit Turkey in 2018
Russians are also returning to Turkey, with five million Russian visitors expected this year. A combination of low package holiday prices and an earlier-than-usual commencement of holiday bookings indicate Turkish holidays are well and truly on Russian radars.
Russian travel companies report that the bulk of early holiday booking enquiries are about Turkish getaways. One tour operator reports a 25 percent increase in demand for Turkish resorts compared to the same period last year, while another says the number of bookings for Antalya flights have increased by a factor of four and Marmaris flights by a factor of seven compared to this time last year, and holidays are booked for as far away as October.
While Antalya remains a Russian favourite, with tourists favouring Alanya, Kemer and Belek, tour operators note that demand for Aegean holidays is increasing, with enquiries up for Bodrum, Kusadasi and Cesme.
Read more: Why Turkey still beats Spain hands down.