Russian tourists choose other destinations instead of Turkey in summer
It is still too early to talk about an "explosive growth" of foreign bookings. The demand for foreign tours is significantly behind the pre-Covid period.
In addition, the most popular destinations, such as Turkey, risk to lose part of the tourist flow. Instead of Turkey, Russian tourists can go to the UAE, Thailand and even the Maldives - prices for hotels there in summer are even cheaper than Turkish ones. This statement was made by Artur Muradyan, vice president of ATOR and CEO of Space Travel tour operator.
According to him, international sales, compared with the summer of 2019, decreased by 40-60%. True, 2019 was a record year for the Russian tourism industry. He also called the decline of demand for Turkey as "the first worrying indicator of a slowdown in demand for international tours".
“The market expected a record volume of bookings for Turkey in May, and both hoteliers and airlines increased prices accordingly. However, due to the weakening of the ruble against foreign currencies, tourists decided to "wait and see." And due to low demand, airlines had to revise and optimize the number of flights to Turkey,” the expert said.
As a result, many flights for the summer which were planned did not start - and we are talking about leading airlines, including the Turkish national carrier - Turkish Airlines.
“Expectations and actual demand diverge. The main reason for the decline of demand for Turkey is the high price. For example, some hotels in Istanbul have raised prices by 50% this year compared to last year,” Mr. Muradyan noted.
As a result, according to him, there is a chance that part of the Turkish tourist flow will “flow” to other countries for which summer is not a high season. "Part of Turkey's sales will shift to Asian destinations, especially to the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and the Maldives," the expert stressed.