Turkey hopes to attract 5 million German travelers with emphasis on ‘energy holidays’

Turkey expects to welcome more than 5 million travelers from Germany, Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) President Firuz Bağlıkaya said on Sunday.

His comments come after statements by the head of the German Association of Independent Travel Agencies (VUSR) saying that German pensioners should take holidays in warmer countries, including Turkey, during the winter months.

Rather, the VUSR statements were an unusual suggestion in the face of a possible shortage or rise in energy prices in the context of a potential sudden stoppage of Russian gas supplies in order for Germany to “save energy “.

The association has suggested sending seniors on holiday to warmer places during the cold season, citing Turkey, Tunisia and the Spanish tourist island of Mallorca as potential destinations.

And the government could encourage more citizens, some of whom have already wintered in some of these places, by subsidizing such trips, VUSR president Marija Linnhoff told the Mallorca Zeitung.

Linnhoff even offered grants of up to 500 euros ($527.69) to make such trips more affordable.

Stating that middle-aged and older tourists from different countries, especially European countries, prefer destinations in Turkey, Bağlıkaya noted that they expect the holiday and travel movements of the segment of senior age will accelerate if the demand for VUSRs for holiday sales is subsidized by the German state is satisfied.

Vacation and travel movements of the middle-aged segment are already an important tourism segment, he said, adding that Germany ranks first among countries with high numbers of elderly and elderly people. retirees.

“The number of people receiving pensions in the country is approaching 26 million,” Bağlıkaya said.

Pointing out that there is a very serious economic size based on pensions in developed countries like Germany, Bağlıkaya said: “The spending of people in developed countries on tourism is a great potential.”

He said welcoming elderly tourists during the winter would keep the facilities active which usually sit idle during the winter season.

The German association represents more than 7,000 travel agencies in the country.

Russian gas is vital for Europe and Germany in particular. But Berlin has come under pressure to sever a business relationship that critics say helps fund Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Europe’s biggest economy aims to reduce its dependence on Russia to zero as quickly as possible, but has opposed an immediate halt to imports.

At the same time, efforts are underway to diversify the industry and markets, as well as to enable Turkey to make the most of the non-summer period.

The southern gem of Antalya and its surrounding areas are often preferred by German nationals, which are among Turkey’s biggest tourist sources.

Germany was Turkey’s second largest market last year after Russia. Some 3.1 million German tourists arrived in Turkey last year, a 175.7% year-on-year increase from 1.1 million in 2020, eclipsed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The figure is still below 5 million in 2019 before the outbreak. Arrivals had reached a record high of around 5.5 million in 2015.

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