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Slashing holiday prices to Turkey will do little to help the country this summer, warned On The Beach founder Simon Cooper.
Specialist tour operators to the destination are optimistic sales to the destination will rebound in the lates market when capacity runs out in Spain, although prices are likely to be low.
But Cooper believes Turkey is destined have a bad year as a result of public perception of the destination and the countries it borders and terrorist fears and that discounting will not be enough to persuade families to holiday in the country.
Speaking at a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast, he said the poor performance of Turkey had “surprised people the most” in the industry in comparison with Tunisia and Egypt, which were both expected to fare badly because of terrorist related attacks and the impact of Government travel advice.
Turkey’s location and perceived links to terrorists have been responsible for impacting holidaymakers’ opinions and choices, he said.
“Turkey is seen as connected to the Middle East, it borders Syria, has a migrant through-flow and there have been bombs.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a question of pricing it cheap in lates and it will sell. Turkey is going to have a bad year this year,” he said. “It’s very difficult to call. How sales pan out will depend on the impact of forward acts of terrorism, which you cannot call.”
On The Beach figures are “not dissimilar” to those reported by Tui earlier this month. Tui Group said summer sales to Turkey were down by 40%.
Cooper also said he could not see Egypt recovering this year. “Egypt is ‘closed’; it’s unlikely to come back this summer. If a destination has been off sale for six months the programme will not be loaded enough to make it worthwhile,” he added.
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