Since Turkey was recently hailed the number one holiday destination for Brits, there has been talk about canny operators putting up prices to make the most of its popularity.
But at the moment, Turkey is still good value for money, with some great deals being offered on all properties – from self-catering to all-inclusive accommodation.
Thanks to the unfavourable euro-pound exchange rate, non-euro destinations such as Turkey are thriving in the turbulent economic climate. Current exchange rates offer 2.38 Turkish lira to the pound, compared with a paltry €1.09.
Turkish Culture and Tourism Office director Irfan Önal said: “Although Turkey’s not in the eurozone, it’s still very easy to reach from the UK, with less than four hours’ flying time. It also offers year-round good weather, fantastic beaches and brilliant city breaks.”
He added: “As Turkey provides quality offerings at affordable prices, it’s set to fare well despite the economic crisis.”
In 2008, Turkey had almost 2.2 million visitors from the UK, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Here, we look at some fantastic value options being put forward by operators for 2009/10.
Clients who are counting every penny are booking all-inclusive holidays because it allows them to budget for their entire break before they travel.
A comparison of accommodation prices on somewhere2stay.com shows the cost of a night’s stay in a five-star hotel in Turkey equals that of a stay at a three-star property in Spain.
The operator offers one night all-inclusive at the three-star Hotel Altamadores, in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria, for £30 per person in June and October. This compares with £32 per person per night at the five-star Blue Bay Deluxe in Marmaris in June, and £26 per person per night in October.
Somewhere2stay.com product executive Maris Kuklis said: “All-inclusive properties are key in 2009 thanks to the economic downturn and the low value of the pound. By the time the summer came last year, most of the all-inclusive units were already sold out.
“This year, the supply is still plentiful and therefore competitively priced as hoteliers already know that providing the all-inclusive option will meet the demand of the British market. Spain has comparable product but the prices are higher due to the unfavourable exchange rate.”
Sample product: Somewhere2stay.com offers one night all-inclusive at the three-star Fortuna Beach Hotel, in Icmeler, for £16 per person in June and October. (Tel: 0871 423 8413, somewhere2stayagents.com)
Turkey villa specialist Artemis Travel wants to help agents cash in on the boom in travel to Turkey by offering low-cost self-catering accommodation.
With an emphasis on flexibility, guests can stay for any length of time at the properties situated in Altinkum, a sandy beach resort on the Aegean coast of southwest Turkey. The resort, which has a stunning mountain backdrop, is a 75-minute drive from Bodrum airport or 90 minutes from Izmir airport.
The lively nearby town of Didim is flush with cosmopolitan restaurants, shops, bars and clubs, as well as a popular Saturday street market. Both airports are served by low-cost and charter airlines from the UK.
Prices for the properties lead in at £4 per person per night and beach villas can sleep up to eight people, ideal for a large family or a group of friends. Agents booking through the operator can earn a minimum of 15% commission.
Chief executive Nigel Harris said: “Self-catering is a great way to have a quality holiday and keep within a budget, plus really enjoy all the local cuisine and culture at terrific prices. For those who want to budget in advance for some meals, dine-around options are available.”
The operator also offers winter breaks, including long stays for clients who want to escape the British weather.
Accommodation-only provider somewhere2stay.com is also offering some low-priced self-catering deals in Turkey from 75p per person per night at the three-star Sundream Apartments in Marmaris, based on four sharing a one-bedroom apartment in May and October.
Sample product: Superbreak has introduced a range of self-catering accommodation in Turkey. Prices lead in at £7.25 per person per night for the three-star Golden Orange Apartments in Marmaris. (Tel: 0871 221 4444, superbreak.com/agents)
Sample product: Artemis Travel offers a week’s accommodation in a three-bedroom apartment at Aegean Park, in Altinkum, in November or December 2009, for £230. Sleeping up to eight, using the sofa bed, this works out at less than £30 per person per week. (Tel: 01495 773 333, artemistravel.co.uk)
Low-cost airlines flying to Turkey include Pegasus, easyJet and Jet2. Pegasus and easyJet fly direct to Istanbul from the UK, Jet2 flies direct to Dalaman and Pegasus flies direct to Bodrum.
Low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines has launched new direct flights to Istanbul and Bodrum. The flights from Stansted to Istanbul started on April 1, with prices leading in at £39.99 per person one way, including taxes and charges. Direct flights to Bodrum start running every Monday from May 4, with one-way fares starting from £65.99 including taxes and charges.
Flight-only operator Avro has expanded its flight programme to Turkey this summer in response to demand from the dynamic packaging market. A new flight from Gatwick to Antalya will operate every Wednesday from May 27 to October 28, complementing the existing Sunday flight and twice-weekly flights from Manchester and Birmingham.
Full charters will now operate to Dalaman from Gatwick six days a week (up to three times daily) and from Manchester five days per week. Flights to Bodrum will also operate from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham this summer.
Avro managing director Michael Vinales said: “We have increased our frequency as some families are looking for more flexible durations, possibly to fit in better with their reduced budget. They may not be able to take that traditional 14-night break but they still want to travel.”
Flights with Avro start from £139 including a 20kg baggage allowance. (Tel: 0870 160 8181, avroagents.com)
After booking a great value break for your budget-conscious client, encourage them to buy some add-ons to top up your commission. Pre-booking attractions is a great way to budget while on holiday as they are paid for in advance.
Sample product: Keith Prowse Attraction Tickets has launched a night out in Istanbul called 1,001 Nights, where guests are treated to a four-course meal in an exclusive nightclub while being entertained by an Anatolian folk troupe and belly dancers. Tickets cost from £66. (Tel: 02890 232 425, keithprowse.com/agents)
Sample product: Attraction World has just introduced Turkey to its portfolio of worldwide destinations, with 25 tours and experiences for travel agents to book and earn commission on. One example is the Attraction World offer of a Dreamgirls show and dinner in Bodrum for £20 per person. (Tel: 0871 984 8008, avroagents.com)
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