Tayyar Cengiz the President of Didim Tourism Association has stated that 45,000 Brits will be heading to Turkey and more specifically Didim in 2018 and one hotel has said that it is already 50% full for the summer holiday season. Tayyar Cengiz has said recently that “30,000 Brits visited the resort in 2017 but that had already been trumped by early bookings in the order of 45,000 for summer 2018”
Tayyar Cengiz also said that hoteliers are in high spirits for this year and noted that “hotels have informed us that their businesses are selling 50% of bed numbers to the British.” Tayyar Cengiz said he hoped the rate would exceed expectations and that improvements were encouraging due to the number of charter planes increasing from 9 planes to 12 planes per week, and that the airlines had increased seat requirements by as much as 60%. He also added there had also been an increase in interest from Turkish nationals. Aquasis Hotel Manager Ahmet Baş confirmed that he had seen a three-fold increase in bookings. He said: “We are looking at around 50% bookings and are optimistic that we may reach upwards of 100% as the season approaches.”
More encouraging news has seen nearly a 20% increase in the number of Dutch tourists visiting Turkey this year, this is surprising as there have been diplomatic problems between the two countries, a sector association has announced. In a statement released on the 16th February, the Hotels Association of Turkey (TÜROB) said “the Turkish tourism sector started to enjoy normalization in the Dutch market as ad campaigns kicked off in the Netherlands” This has brought welcoming renewed interest in the Dutch wanting to visit Turkey in 2018.
There were 906,000 Dutch people visited Turkey in 2016, this number dropped to 799,000 last year by a 12% year-on-year decrease, according to a TÜROB statement. The number of Dutch arrivals into Turkey saw a 2.7% year-on-year decrease in the mentioned period and a figure of 253,000 was recorded. Dutch tourists are set to return to Turkey in 2018, TÜROB said, citing the recent estimates by Corendon, which is one of the leading tour operators based in the Netherlands. Dutch people held a total of 17.9 million foreign trips in 2016, with France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey being the top six destinations, according to the statement.
A top official from Corendon Tourism on the 8th February said the company saw an almost 100% year-on-year increase in summer bookings for Turkey, with a significant surge in demand from the Dutch and Belgian markets. TÜROB also noted that the Netherlands was especially a key market for Turkey’s southern resorts, adding that Istanbul’s cultural and business tourism potentials could have not been efficiently used, however.
The association also recommended Turkish authorities to promote key Turkish destinations as a brand, including Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya. According to the statement, the share of the Dutch market is 2.4% in the total arrivals into Turkey. The number of Dutch arrivals to Turkey reached 1.3 million in 2013 but saw a gradual decline in the following years. Relations between Turkey and the Netherlands became frosty ahead of a major referendum in Turkey on shifting to an executive presidential system when Dutch authorities cancelled the flight permit of a plane carrying Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
The Dutch government’s eviction of the Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam and preventing her from addressing the Turkish community in the Netherlands before the April 2017 referendum did not help improve the coolness of both countries to each other. The Dutch Foreign Ministry stated on the 5th February that it had formally withdrawn its ambassador to Turkey, who has been physically barred from the country for almost a year, over a dispute that began in March 2017. The Netherlands may have withdrawn its ambassador to Turkey, but the 400-year-old ties “will be fixed one day,” Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra told Dutch lawmakers in The Hague on the 7th February, amid the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
Let’s hope both Turkey and the Netherlands once again strengthen their age-old ties and this renewed interest in Dutch nationals once again wanting to visit Turkey for their holidays goes some way to helping that. It’s encouraging to see Turkey once again in the top ten destinations most people want to visit in 2018. Already the resorts are beginning their preparations for an expected bumper season which kicks off in March.