Summer 2018

Turkey bookings recover strongly

German bookings for Turkey holidays in summer 2018 are making a comeback after two years of double-digit declines. TUI has a 70% surge in bookings and other tour operators also report strong demand.

January 10, 2018
Lara on the Turkish Riviera should welcome more German holidaymakers this year.
Photo: GettyImages

Turkey dropped back to third place behind Spain and Greece in the destination ranking for German package holidaymakers last year as bookings slumped for the second year in a row. After a record 5.6 million German visitors in 2015, the number of holidaymakers dropped by “nearly half” over the last two years, according to the DRV.

But 2018 could turn into a comeback year, according to German tour operators.

TUI Germany disclosed on Wednesday that bookings for summer holidays in Turkey are up by 70% to date. In response, the market leader is expanding its programme for summer 2017 and will increase flight capacity from Germany to Antalya by 100,000 seats.

The tour operator’s Turkey bookings slumped by about half in 2016 and barely recovered last year, forcing the group to downscale its programme for the Eastern Mediterranean destination.

Thomas Cook subsidiary Öger Tours also reported rising demand for its main destination, especially from families. Top sellers include family hotels on the Turkish Riviera with very good customer evaluations.

“We are seeing very pleasing high bookings for the summer season at present, and thus have a clear double-digit rise in comparison to last year,” said managing director Songül Göktas-Rosati.

In response, the Hamburg-based tour operator is increasing its flight capacity by about 20% for this summer. This include new full charters from Berlin-Schönefeld, an additional Condor service from Nuremberg and with higher contingents on flights from airports such as Düsseldorf, Hanover, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart.

Other tour operators are also seeing good demand for Turkey, an fvw market survey found. Deniz Ugur, CEO of Bentour, pointed out: “There is a clear trend to much earlier bookings. Families are booking Turkey more strongly once again.” Similarly, FTI reported an upturn in Turkey bookings, not least due to its “excellent value for money” and “great hospitality”.

In its overview of current booking trends, TUI also reported good demand for Spain, Greece (+16%) and Bulgaria (+25%), a continuing strong recovery for Egypt (+58%) and Tunisia (+125%), and double-digit growth for Thailand and the Maldives among long-haul destinations.

Stefan Baumert, TUI Germany’s tourism director, declared: “Bookings for the summer 2018 season are already going very well. The return of Turkey and North Africa along with the continued good demand for destinations in the Western Mediterranean are ensuring further growth.”

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