As the travel industry enters the traditional “lates” market there are signs that this late summer sales period is going to be very challenging. With poor weather in the UK and with only two weeks before the school holidays start there will be families who will be left disappointed with the few holidays that are available and the expensive prices.
Tour operators will be trying hard to sell off unsold stock although the majority of these holidays will be to unpopular holiday destinations such as Turkey. Turkey has suffered a huge decline in visitor numbers due to terrorism, although the once popular Mediterranean resorts such as Bodrum, Marmaris and Antalya have so far been unaffected by any acts of terrorism.
Visitors to Turkey have dropped by 34.7% year on year to May 2016 to a total of 2.48 million. Visitors from Russia dropped 92% due to tensions between the two countries. In July 2015 visitors to Turkey reached an all-time high of 5.48 million. Tourism accounts for over 6% of Turkey’s economic output and 8 percent of employment so the effect on the Turkish economy will be significant. There is already a crisis with employment as hundreds of hotels on Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts have had to scrap plans to hire seasonal workers. The slump in UK visitors to Turkey has also caused the collapse of several well respected tour operators. Jewel in the Crown ceased trading on 1 April 2016 after trading for 29 years and Anatolian Sky Holidays became the fourth Turkey specialist to fail in the last 12 months after the terrorist attacks. The other two tour operators to collapse were Elixir Holidays and Exclusive Escapes.
Holidays in Turkey have always been seen as value for money and tour operators will be hoping that big discounts will help sell the destination despite the risk of more terror attacks. Terrorism has far reaching consequences not just on those innocent lives that are so cruelly cut short but on a countries whole economy.
For many years it used to be the case that if you left it late to book a holiday, you would get a bargain. Ten years ago this might have been true, as I remember package holidays being on sale for £99 per person. These days are long gone as tour operators manage their holiday stock better and the shift in the market to the western Mediterranean causes demand to outstrip supply.
If the prospect of a soggy holiday in the UK fills you with dread, then be prepared to get your credit card out to pay for an expensive Mediterranean beach holiday.