By FEHMI KOFTEOGLU
POST-BREXIT is expected to increase British tourism in Turkey as travel advantages within the European Union (EU) will no longer be available for UK citizens. The exchange rate difference of the GBR against the EUR will also give Turkey an advantage as a non-EU country, according to a report by Deloitte. The Brexit deal’s impact on tourism is being closely monitored by countries like Turkey, which is competing for Europe’s second largest outbound tourism market. England, the biggest country in the United Kingdom, is the second largest outbound tourism market in Europe after Germany. Its tourists also rank among the top five nationals who visit Turkey. With over 2.5 million visitors in 2019, the UK took the 4th largest slice of Turkey’s foreign tourist pie.
Industry representatives expect that Brexit will create opportunities for Turkey, contrary to its rival Spain, which is currently the most visited country by British tourists. New regulations and uncertainties in Spain and Greece after Brexit will push vacationers to choose Turkey, in addition to its cheap prices and advantageous exchange rate. Initially, there is expected to be a psychological advantage for Turkey resulting from Brexit: British vacationers will no longer see Spain as a next door destination in their neighborhood for their travel preferences as they used to do.
Moreover, British citizens will be subject to new regulations, such as passport and travel insurance requirements, for entry into EU countries due to Brexit. This is expected to influence British tourists’ decisionmaking in favor of Turkey.
Additionally, hotels in EU countries make contracts with tour operators in euros. However, sales are made in pounds in the UK and Turkey also makes contracts in pounds. This will also favor Turkey. British tourists have been accustomed to considering the advantages of visiting EU member countries when making vacation plans. With the UK now officially outside the EU, their considerations are expected to positively affect partnership relations of hotels and tour operators working with the UK in Turkey.
Meanwhile, tour operators set up by Jet2 and Easyjet after Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy are growing rapidly in Turkey. Both tour operators continued to increase their operations during COVID -19 and the number of flights to Antalya, Dalaman and other tourism hubs.
Both EU and non-EU countries will be affected differently by exchange rate differences between the GBR against the EUR, which will reflect on tourism, according to a report prepared for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) by Deloitte. Since Turkey is not an EU member, this will work in favor of Turkey. New regulations governing passports, health services, pets, driving and duty-free shopping will affect British vacationers, influencing the vacation choices they make.