BY FEHMI KOFTEOGLU
Two months have passed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The conflict, which has affected the world, the region, Turkey, all segments and sectors, has turned upside down the calculations in tourism. Interestingly, the Treasury and Finance Minister said Turkey will achieve the goal of 45 million tourists and USD 35bn tourism revenue following the
President’s and the Culture and Tourism Minister’s same statements. Professional organizations from different segments of the sector also make similar statements.
It’s unknown which data or information those who say the tourism targets for 2022 that were set before the Russia-Ukraine war will be achieved are looking. Those who make statements on behalf of the sector say higher amounts than each other just like they compete.
While the outlook emerged as of April and possible developments show that Turkey will experience a serious loss in tourism, the statements made on behalf of the public administration and the sector almost gamble on tourism.
Considering the current outlook by setting aside the figures not based on information, it’s a fact that the entire Mediterranean region will have difficulties in tourism this year.
Ignacio Vasallo, the International Relations Director of the Federation of Tourism Journalists and Writers (FEPET) and former official of the Spanish Tourism Ministry made the following statement about the course of tourism competition between Spain
and Turkey with the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and how 2022, especially the summer season passes:
“The advantage of Turkey is that its accommodation prices are lower than Spain’s. Spain can’t compete with Turkey about this. Turkey has an advantage against Spain at this point. However, problems in air transportation and direction from the European Union (EU) members to their citizens to spend their holiday within the EU are against Turkey and in favor of Spain. The competition in the Mediterranean region will happen through accommodation prices, security, and advantages such as knowledge and experience. The price is against us while the nonmonetary issues are in favor of us.”
Right or wrong, less or more, the evaluation of Ignacio Vasallo is based on fact.
The figures stated in Turkey are the numbers that are willed and that are whistled in the dark.
The statements of government officials and sector members don’t
go beyond ‘tourism gambling’.