Want to quickly travel to Turkey, where the currency is cheap? Experts say no: vacationers save less than expected. This is mainly due to the way most people book.
WITHAt least in shopping streets and in the bazaar, Turkey vacationers can get hold of more bargains than before. The collapse of the local currency, the lira, in relation to the euro makes many things cheaper for travelers during their stay – in fact, almost everything they pay in liras in Turkey.
However, vacationers cannot speculate on cheaper trips overall. “On the one hand, the decline in the value of the currency is not immediately reflected in a package tour. The purchased hotel and flight prices are negotiated on a long-term basis, ”said Ralph Schiller, managing director of the tour operator FTI of the FAZ. Excursion tickets and rental car bookings on site have recently become significantly cheaper for visitors from the euro area. Because for one euro they received up to 8 lira in exchange on Monday, a week ago it was only about 6 lira, at the beginning of the year not even 5 lira.
But the overnight rates agreed between tour operators and hoteliers last year prevent package travelers from residing in Turkey for less. For the European travel companies there are hardly any positive effects from the lira crash. “The tour operators have no price advantages due to the decline in the value of the currency, since hotel purchases are made in euros,” says Schiller.
Travel companies buy in euros
When travel companies such as TUI, Thomas Cook and FTI buy hotel allotments for their customers on the coasts of Antalya, Alanya and Belek, they pay in euros. Travel agents from Russia, meanwhile the strongest country of origin for vacationers in Turkey, mostly settle with hostel operators in dollars – and thus independent of current exchange rate changes. Savings could only result for vacationers if they first book the accommodation on site.
This is a good thing for the hostel operators on the beaches, they can calculate with a fixed income per guest and receive foreign currency on top of that. It is unclear whether the corporations will try to get hoteliers to lower their prices in the coming year. However, increased booking numbers from Germany and the sustained strong demand from Russia should leave little room for maneuver.
“Turkey is recording high growth in bookings in the current summer season, regardless of the exchange rate,” says TUI. Overall, Turkey is in third place in the ranking of the most popular travel destinations in the group. FTI managing director Schiller has a similar opinion: “In particular, the number of long-term bookings has risen in the past few months.” In June, FTI reported a booking level of 30 percent above the previous year’s level.
The number of holidaymakers from Germany is increasing
Norbert Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association (DRV), recently said in a conversation with the FAZ: “In Turkey we are not yet back to the record level of 2015 with 5.6 million guests from Germany, but we are getting closer very clearly this record. “
In the past, first attacks, then the attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and then his threatening gestures up to and including the arrest of Germans had a deterrent effect on vacationers. That was less and less true recently. In July Erdogan lifted the state of emergency that had existed since the attempted coup in 2016. The Foreign Office toned down its travel advice.
As much as the travel companies try to ensure that the events in Turkey have no impact on their business, investors on the stock market are reacting with skepticism. At the beginning of the week, the share prices of TUI and its competitor Thomas Cook plummeted by more than 2 percent. The courses of airlines flying to Turkey also fell.
At the moment, fear of an economic collapse in the country prevails, commented Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson on the price losses. There is growing concern that travelers might consider vacationing in another country. And more burdensome than fluctuating hotel prices are for travel groups always secured room contingents that they are not given to their holiday customers.