Currency crisis to hinder domestic tourism in Turkey

The sudden loss of value in the Turkish lira amid an ongoing currency crisis, coupled with an increased demand from foreign tourists will cause hotels in Turkey to decrease their domestic tourist quota, pro-government Hürriyet newspaper reported.

Turkey suffered a massive setback to its tourism sector in 2016, following the country’s coup July attempt, which was preceded by a series of terrorist attacks in Ankara, Istanbul and Diyarbakir. While the nation is recovering from its tourism blues, there are signs of trouble ahead for domestic tourist with the Turkish lira losing 40 percent value since the beginning of the year.

“There is a problem with the quota allotted for domestic tourists by hotels. Hotels don’t wish to rent out rooms to Turks in Turkish liras, as compared to tourists from abroad who are paying in Euros,’’ Hürriyet quoted the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) Chairman Firuz Bağlıkaya as saying. ‘’What we can gather from this is that next year Turkish citizens will be paying more to travel and will not be able to find hotels when and where they want.’’

The TÜRSAB chairman noted that domestic tourists in 2019 will be faced with a 40 percent price hike in their vacation costs as compared to 2018, stressing that due to the vast difference of amount between the money foreign and domestic tourists will be paying, hotels are naturally opting for tourists from abroad.

Turkey’s Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Hüseyin Yayman has said the country’s 2018 target is 40 million foreign tourists.

The country’s foreign tourists decreased to 25.3 million in 2016, but rose again to 32.4 million in 2017, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).