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Dark forecast for Turkey's tourism: $10 billions in losses

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Staff writer ▼ | October 14, 2015
Turkey’s tourism industry may close this year with around $10-11 billion in losses amid a dramatic loss in Russian tourists and a sharp slash in hotel room prices across the country.
Turkey tourism
Tourists   A dramatic loss in Russian tourists
“Turkey’s tourism sector grew in double digit figures in the last 25 years. The sector has, however, faced tough times with the rise in Russia’s economic problems, security concerns especially after the Arab Spring in the region and the Syria crisis,” said the head of the Hoteliers’ Federation of Turkey (TÜROFED), Osman Ayik.

The country saw around a 25 percent decrease in the number of tourists from Russia and its neighbors, although a 9 percent increase was seen in the number of German and European tourists, he noted.

“The rise in the number of European tourists cannot, however, enable the sector to compensate its losses from the Russian market. In this vein, we expect a loss in income. The losses will differ across the regions, but we most probably won’t close the year with positive growth,” he noted.

Ayik said coastline hotels especially have made sharp cuts in their prices.

“We expect around $10-11 billion of loss in tourism income this year. Some $5 billion of this is caused by the decrease in tourist numbers and the remaining from the slashes in room prices at around 30 percent. A decrease in income will pave the road to cuts in employment,” he said.

Ayik said around a 3 percent drop in the number of tourists visiting the Mediterranean resort of Antalya may be the case this year. The Aegean province of Muğla may face an 8 percent loss, although no loss is expected for Istanbul, he added.

He also noted that the sector achieved double digit growth numbers in the last 25 years, but saw a slowdown this year for the first time in the last three decades, although around 2 million decreases in tourist numbers will not constitute a big problem for the sector.