As the New Year embodies new hopes, tourism professionals who are going through a tough time, got their spirits lifted up thanks to the full attendance to New Year’s Eve activities. The experts, who state that Turkish tourists make their holiday decisions shortly before their travels, point that tourism sector experiences increase and decrease in income due to seasonal effects. They suggest that the sector would ensure continuity of sectorial success by re-creating the country’s image, creating brand cities, and seeking alternative markets.
Prof. Dr. Hakan Yetkiner, Lecturer, Department of Economics, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), indicated that Turkish tourism’s problem was seasonal. He said, “When we look at number of tourists and tourism income per month beginning from 1990 to present time, seasonality had an effect on increasing variation. The increasing number of tourists and tourism income in summer months go through significant decline in winter months. The real problem of Turkish tourism is seasonal. If tourism activities were to stretch out to 12 months, changes in number of tourists and tourism income would decline. Income of this sector would be more stable. What matters is to develop policies in that direction.” Prof. Dr. Yetkiner reported that number of tourists in all months of 2016 was lower compared to the same months of previous year. And he said that number of tourists in 2015 was 36.2 million.
Edit Güt Habif, Lecturer, IUE Vocational School, stated that due to terrorism acts in Turkey and worldwide, tourism sector got affected negatively in 2016. She said, “We can say that tourism sector took a major blow. It was a difficult year for not only tourism but other sectors as well. However, instead of sinking into desperation, we need to revive the sector. The sector, which contributes to the country’s economy greatly, would be able to overcome these difficult days with a successful marketing strategy. Re-creating the country’s image, creating brand cities, and seeking alternative markets are among the important steps to be taken on this issue.”
‘Last day of 2016 makes tourism professionals happy’
Habif, who said that taking alternative tourism variety was a key to success, stated the following:
“It is not an issue of tourism professionals only. Locals in touristic destinations need to have the same awareness on this issue. Domestic tourism is very significant in terms of surviving in the short run; however, we should not leave out the foreign exchange earnings aspect of international tourism in the long run. We see that occupancy in hotels increased due to New Year. Taking the fact Turkish tourists make their holiday decisions shortly before their travels into consideration, high occupancy of hotels at New Year’s Eve would put a smile on tourism professionals’ faces on the last day of 2016.”