This has been a hot topic for quite some time now, everyone is talking about it and more so in Europe and Turkey than anywhere else. It’s the economic crisis and to be more specific it’s the devaluation since the beginning of 2018 of the Turkish Lira by more than 46%. The financial markets are in crisis as over the past few days the Lira has weakened again by more than 25%. Whilst this is a problem for most sectors the tourism industry is positively booming. Foreign tourists and visitors are flocking to Turkish shores and who can blame them.
Today the exchange rate from Great British Pounds (GBP) to Turkish Lira (TL) is a staggering 8.62 and the holiday makers from foreign countries are doing very well from this. They are indeed flashing their money and spending in the resorts is up not only in the likes of the bars and restaurants the shops are seeing a significant rise in sales especially the designer stores. The Istinye Park Mall in Istanbul is home to designer shops such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton and in Istinye Park Mall you will find some of the most expensive designer shops in the world.
These prestigious shops are reporting not only an increase in visitors to their stores they have to deal with queues too, such is the intent of these buyers wanting to grab a bargain. Apparently stores are stating that the bargain hunters are converting prices as they shop, spotting a coveted item and working out the exchange rate on their phones. This is indeed a savvy way to shop converting prices in to dollars and euros as they go, getting then latest exchange rates. Discount prices are in the region of 25% which is a massive saving and one not to be missed.
Bloomberg have stated that a bag by the designer giants Chanel is being sold for 18,500 Turkish Liras (TL) which is currently around 2,877 dollars (USD) this is showing a discount of 25% compared to the prices that Chanel officially charge for this type of much wanted designer item. Therefore it is no wonder that those who can afford to go out and splash their cash on the most up to date fashion accessories are willing to do so at this time and bag themselves a bargain (no pun intended)! If you could save in the region of 25% for that luxury item you have always wanted, you would too!
I digress, let’s get back to tourism in Turkey, one of the main reasons Turkey is so popular for holidays this year for foreigners, is because of the depreciation of the Lira. It is by far one of the most affordable beach destinations and it’s fair to say one of the most desirable locations for 2018. Thomas Cook who is one of the leading tour operators in Britain have announced that reservations (year on year) to Turkey this year have already increased by 63% and its certain this figure will have increased by the end of the summer season by the end of October.
It was a different story in 2016 which saw Turkeys GDP drop by 1% due to a dramatic drop in tourism that year. This has been well documented by the failed coup attempt in July 2016 and the spate of terrorism that hit the world that year. A change had to come for Turkey and it has as tourism was boosted by a rise of 30% more tourists in April and June of this year and there has been a significant rise in visitors from Russia. Germany has held the number one spot for most tourists to visit Turkey but that’s not the case anymore as Russians have taken the lead. The trend is showing that by the end of 2018 Turkey will have seen 40 million visitors come through its ports.
Turkish hotels have done very well this season advertising their prices in Euros and paying their staff in Lira. The resorts on the coast have fared better than the likes of Istanbul who is just starting to see an improvement in their hotel occupancy due to the favourable exchange rate for foreigners. Spanish tourism has lost out this year as visitors are opting for Turkey again. Hotels prices in Turkey are up to 73% less than prices in the Balearics Islands; therefore the Spanish hotels in August are lowering their rates by 4.6% in the hopes of enticing late summer tourists.