British tour operator Thomas Cook said that the decline in tour sales due to terrorism-induced fear last year has improved very well and European tourists have recently increased demand for Turkey and Greece.
The 176-year-old British tourism giant, Thomas Cook, said that the number of tourists increased 11 percent compared to the previous year, noting that Turkey has recovered well after the events of last year.
It stressed that Turkey, whose tourism sector was adversely affected by the political instability, terrorist attacks and coup attempt in 2016, has recovered very well and has become a favorite spot preferred by customers once again.
Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser said that tourists are attracted and influenced by the quality and value offered in Turkey. The company previously argued that tourists cannot give up Antalya, İzmir, Muğla, Bodrum and Dalaman no matter what happens.
Average increase of 11 percent
According to the information released by Thomas Cook, the number of bookings increased 11 percent in general, despite a 1 percent increase in 2017 prices. Thomas Cook, which did not release any figure on how much the demand for Turkey's recovery process increased, shared data from other countries in the region. Accordingly, travels to Greece, Bulgaria and Greek Cypriot increased by 22, 19 and 14 percent, respectively. The British tour company's revenues climbed 14 percent to 2.3 billion pounds compared to the same period last year, while gross profit was recorded at 468 million pounds with 11 percent. On the other hand, travel to Spain has suffered losses at gross margins due to competition between tour companies to get customers.
German tourists keep coming to Turkey
Fankhauser said that German tourists will continue coming to Turkey for vacations.
The warnings of German Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel for German citizens not to go to Turkey for vacation ignited the discussions concerning the impacts of Turkish-German political tension on tourism sector. However, the sector leaders affirmed that despite their expected cancellations after the outbreak of the tension, sales to Germany still continue, which prove that Germans would not rule out Turkey as their favorite holiday spot.
Moreover, leading German tour operators shared the view that despite the government's recent travel announcement, Turkey is still an important holiday destination for Germans.