The boss of The Co-operative Travel is warning owners of local businesses in Turkey not to let price increases spoil the country’s popularity.

A report released by the Post Office last month found prices of holiday essentials such as meals, drinks and sun cream had increased by up to 40% in the destination as local businesses seek to capitalise from the influx of Brits.

In an open letter to the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office, Co-operative Travel managing director Mike Greenacre has urged it to try to dissuade business owners from increasing prices, particularly as the report states that rival destinations Spain, Portugal and Greece have seen prices in resort drop by 30%, 15% and 10% respectively.

The letter states: “The tourism industry is, more so now than ever, hugely affected by economic changes both in terms of currency fluctuations and the economy’s impact on individual holidaymakers.
“This has been most evident in the last few years with the success of Turkey with British holidaymakers, as its status as a value-for-money destination – thanks to its location outside of the eurozone and a favourable exchange rate – has seen Dalaman overtake Majorca as the number one summer 2010 destination, so far.
“The Turkish tourist authorities should take heed of a number of examples in the past decade where destinations have been in a similar situation.

“Cyprus, for example, has on more than one occasion seen strong occupancy one year deflated in the following season because prices were raised disproportionately. The country then saw bookings fall dramatically.

“So right now we would caution dramatic increases in prices and ask businesses in Turkey, which benefit from the tourist boom, to be sensible about pricing for the coming season.”

Nor is it the first time this year Turkey has been warned against becoming a victim of its own success. Only last month tour operators expressed their fears that a surge in bookings to the country could lead to overbooking and the use of poor quality accommodation.