Back in business on the German market?

German travel agents will visit Antalya at an fvw workshop in June.
German travel agents will visit Antalya at an fvw workshop in June.

German bookings for Turkey are starting to recover thanks to deep price cuts, according to tour operators, while travel agents will be able to see the situation on the Turkish Riviera at a special fvw workshop in June.

Turkey could be back in business in its largest source market, leading German tour operators reported this week. Bookings for the destination have picked up over the last three weeks, Songül Göktas-Rosati (head of Öger Tours), Deniz Ugur (CEO Bentour Reisen) and Stefan Baumert (Director Product & Trading TUI Germany) said at the ‘Hamburg Tourism Lounge’ event.

The sharp drop in prices has certainly played a role, they agreed. “It (the price fall) probably lies at about 25% on average this year,” Ugur said. “Hoteliers as well as airlines and tour operators are making their contribution so that prices can decline so much. Everyone is giving up a bit of their profit margin,” added Göktas-Rosati.

The German market could still generate strong late sales for Turkey this year in contrast to Scandinavian markets where it is too late, Baumert pointed out. “Most of the charter airlines (there) belong to the tour operators and they have long since rerouted the flights. That’s a difference to Germany where, for example, a carrier such as Sun Express is strong,” he commented. Addressing the reasons for the slump in German bookings for Turkey so far this year, Baumert said: “I don’t think people are holding back because of the politics but because of the perceived security situation in the country.”

Göktas-Rosati underlined that German holidaymakers remain very satisfied with their experiences in the country. “I’ve just accompanied a large group of travellers, who said they will book again,” she said. Ugur highlighted the importance of using such customers for testimonials. “Travel reviews are highly credible and probably have a greater impact than any list of security measures and every well-designed brochure,” he commented.

Meanwhile, German travel agents will have the chance to see the situation on the Turkish Riviera for themselves at a special fvw workshop in Antalya from June 8-12. The event, organised in cooperation with the local hotel associations and the Antalya city authority, is designed to enable travel agents to deepen their contacts with hoteliers and local suppliers.

There will be a one-day conference on June 10 where regional representatives and hoteliers as well as German experts will present and discuss the latest developments and trends in Turkish tourism. On the other days, workshop participants will be able to go on excursions to diverse attractions in the region.