Even if the affected area is far away from tourist regions: The bad pictures of the earthquake disaster have influenced the demand for Turkey vacations.
According to several organizers, Turkey is one of the most popular travel destinations for Germans in the summer of 2023 – even if the devastating earthquakes in the south-east of the country and in neighboring Syria on February 6 caused uncertainty.
After the earthquake there was a small wave of cancellations and reluctance to make bookings, said Alltours boss Willi Verhuven at the ITB travel fair in Berlin. The numbers are returning to normal, but are not yet at the level before the earthquake.
The provider Bentour Reisen, which specializes in vacations in Turkey, also registered a decline in inquiries in February due to the earthquake. In the meantime, however, there is a clear recovery.
The assessment at Tui Germany is similar: initially restraint with new bookings, meanwhile normalization. According to a spokeswoman, Öger Tours and other brands of the Anex Group also had more restrained bookings for around two weeks after the earthquake. There were no more travel cancellations than usual.
Bentour: Booking also helps local people
There are around 700 kilometers between the tourist regions of the Turkish Riviera and the areas affected by the earthquake. Bentour’s managing director, Deniz Ugur, emphasized that every booking also helps the local people. Because many specialists in tourism originally come from the affected areas.
At the ITB, Alltours reported an increase of more than 50 percent in the number of guests in Turkey with a view to summer 2023. According to the organizer, there are 325 hotels on the Riviera and more than 120 further west on the Aegean coast.
At Tui, the Riviera holiday region around Antalya Airport is neck and neck with Mallorca as the number one summer travel destination. One reason for the popularity of Turkey as a holiday destination is that travel prices are often cheap compared to other countries.