Tourism is suspended in uncertainty – these are the consequences of the postponement of the presidential elections to the second round, according to tourism experts in Turkey.
According to them, the appearance of the second tour, scheduled for May 28, has led to the fact that local tour operators cannot plan “flights and operations” and bookings from tourists, both foreign and local, are effectively stopped.
“Bookings have taken off, we can say that there are almost no new orders. This process tied the hands of professionals in the field of tourism both in domestic and foreign markets. There is stagnation both in Russia and in European countries,” complained Mehmet Ishler, president of the Aegean Association of Tourism Enterprises and Accommodation (ETIK). He noted that the election-time “pause” in tourism is generally a regular state, but last time there was no such inflationary environment. “The exchange rate is not increasing, our domestic costs are increasing, and tourism professionals are in danger,” he added.
The head of Mivara Luxury Bodrum, Mete Üsküdarla, also confirms the situation: a complete failure so far. “We started the season negatively because the elections coincided with May. Bodrum is now empty due to the election, the booking flow we expected has not yet started as the world press has been closely following the election. Tour operators and travel agencies cannot plan their flights and operations,” he said.
Moreover, he added that in the conditions of “uncertainty in the markets and the fragility of the currency”, a two-week failure significantly increases the burden on tour operators, and most likely the decline in demand will also affect the beginning of June, and regardless of the election results, there is only hope that further rapid growth will begin demand.
The head of Pronto Tour, Ali Onaran, added that tourism is severely affected by the uncertainty surrounding the run-off election, which ensures low sales rates. “It is not easy to clearly say where the exchange rate will go after the elections, whether people are postponing their vacation plans for economic reasons,” he said.