Antalya tourism players return 'disappointed' from Berlin fair

DHA photo

Tourism representatives from the southern province of Antalya, Turkey's tourism center, have said they did not find what had expected at the ITB Berlin fair, adding they saw 2016 as a difficult year for the sector once again. 

They noted Turkey needed to focus on promotional campaigns abroad more than in previous years amid rising security concerns and negative perceptions about the country, after they returned from the Berlin fair, which was held on March 9-13. 

"We confirmed what we had foreseen for this year in Berlin. Namely, we once again saw that the reservation cancelations would be fairly high and 2016 would be a difficult year, especially for Antalya. Our biggest concern is to experience huge shrinkage in employment across the sector," said the head of the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB), Yusuf Hac?süleyman. 

Forecasting that the regression in the sector's German market would be around 30 percent by the year-end, he noted, "In a bid to decrease these negative effects to a minimum, we need to start a PR campaign, which also includes closer ties with the western European countries. Negative perceptions about Turkey need to be averted. Some political discourses, some inefficiency in informing what has been done regarding the refugee crisis and the latest terror attacks have triggered negative thoughts about Turkey." 

He noted it would be a big fault to decrease prices, as the country has achieved a good price-service balance over the last 30 years. 

Security 'matters'

The head of the Hoteliers Federation of Turkey (TÜROFED), Osman Ay?k, said the German market was of crucial importance for Turkey.

"We have called Germany, Britain, France, Scandinavian countries and the...

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