Against the background of the suspension of the supply of Russian gas to the European Union, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt have announced their ambitions to become a “winter home” for Europeans who want to save money and move to warmer countries. First of all, the “hunt” is for pensioners, of whom there are about 150 million in the EU.
TURKEY EXPECTS A MILLION GERMAN TOURISTS
“Heating is included in the price of accommodation.” Now you can see advertisements and other promotions about travel in Germany more and more often. In the face of the energy crisis and inflation, many Germans are considering long-term vacations in countries with a lower cost of living.
The relevant interest is fueled by advertising. Thus, the chain of discount supermarkets Lidl promotes tours to Turkey with a flight in winter for 22 days for 599 euros.
In Turkey, they expect a significant increase in interest in the region from European tourists in winter. The head of Antalya Provincial Tourism Association (AKTOB) Erkan Yagci believes that the upcoming winter season will be the best in the last three years.
Turkey’s hospitality industry is preparing to welcome twice as many holidaymakers from the EU in the coming months as a year ago. Then, in the period from November to February, 427,000 guests came from Germany alone. According to Yardi, it is expected that at least 152 hotels in Antalya province will continue to receive guests throughout the winter this year. This is much more than in previous years.
The general director of the German tour operator Bentour, Deniz Ugur, explains that heating bills in Germany will cost twice as much as a holiday in a Turkish hotel with all-inclusive meals. He believes that 1 million German tourists may come to Turkey in winter.
“For this reason, we tell hoteliers: think twice before closing your hotel in the winter,” emphasizes Mr. Ugur.
EGYPT IS READY TO COMPETE WITH TURKEY
Egypt is ready to follow Turkey’s example. The local federation of tourist chambers announced preparations for the launch of the “long stay in winter” program aimed at attracting European tourists.
First of all, it will be aimed at retirees, but at the same time, Egypt also counts on those who can work remotely. Even a slogan for “remotes” has already been invented: “Your new office is at sea.”
Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism has instructed local hoteliers to develop proposals for long-term stays by Europeans, and calls on hotels not to delay with this so that Turkey “does not lure all the tourists.” Egypt is determined and wants to make its offer more attractive in terms of price than Turkey.
GREECE CONSIDERS BUT IS SILENT ABOUT HEATING
“Flirts” with German pensioners and Greece. During a visit to Berlin, Greece’s tourism minister, Vassilis Kikilias, fiercely defended his plan to lure German retirees to Greece for the winter.
“The weather is better, life is cheaper,” are his arguments. To implement his plan, he has already held talks with the hotel industry. But such a large number of places, as in Turkey or Egypt, in Greece, of course, simply were not found. According to the minister, about 1,000 seats will be available for the German market in the off-season.
However, the Greek minister was silent about the fact that during the cold months, most of the coastal hotels in Greece are closed, and those that will work will pay more than usual for heating, and therefore will transfer part of these costs to tourists. Charter flights from Germany to Greece will resume only in March. Therefore, Europeans will not be able to winter cheaply in Greece.
WHY WINTERING FOR EUROPEANS
We talk about the prices offered by German tour operators. So, the FTI company has one of the most popular offers, a tour to Turkey from January to March for 90 nights in a 4* hotel, including flights and meals under the all-inclusive system. From 2,640 euros per person – that’s less than 30 euros per day.
In Tunisia, it is even cheaper: accommodation in a 4* hotel in Port El Kantaoui for three months (all-inclusive, including flight) – from 1,800 euros, or approximately 20 euros per person per day.
Vacation in apartments on the Canary Islands for 21 days or more – from 40 euros per day.