BURHAN SILI: EXPECTATIONS FOR 2024 ARE HIGH

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Burhan Sili, President of the Alanya Touristic Hoteliers Association (ALTID), participated in a program on TRT Antalya Radio where he answered questions about the ITB Berlin Fair and the 2024 tourism season.

Speaking on the Bölge Gündemi program of TRT Antalya Radio, Sili shared his evaluations of the ITB Berlin Fair, which was held on March 5-7, and his expectations for the 2024 tourism season. The following are the key points from Sili’s speech:

“ALL WORLD REPRESENTATIVES COME TOGETHER IN BERLIN”

ALTID President Burhan Sili stated that they participate in various tourism fairs in different countries throughout the year on behalf of Alanya for the marketing of the season and products. Sili said, “We participate in fairs in Scandinavian countries, Central European countries, England, Holland, Dubai and many other source markets. However, the difference of ITB Berlin Fair from other fairs is that while only the representatives of that country are generally present in all other fairs, representatives from all over the world are present in Berlin. Thus, it becomes a fair where we can clearly perceive the season and come together with all source market representatives. In this sense, ITB Berlin Fair is extremely important. This year again, we had a very extensive and effective fair process with the participation of everyone from all countries of the world, all continents, different products being offered. Both the stand of our country Turkey and the stand of our region Alanya were very popular and had a pleasant experience. Therefore, when we evaluate this process, we believe that we have achieved a serious success in the meetings and studies we have made regarding the next season. In the meantime, different products were also featured at the fair. Considering that the whole world is digitalizing, the process is now evolving into a different marketing method. In addition to the classic marketing methods that we know, there was also a very large digital marketing section at the ITB Berlin Fair and it was a hall that attracted a lot of attention. We are also adapting to this process in terms of marketing. We have been actively working in these digital areas as well, apart from our own classic networks.”

“ALANYA STAND HOSTED THE MEDITERRANEAN BASIN IN BERLIN”

Sili stated that Alanya participated in the ITB Berlin Fair with an 80-square-meter stand this year. He said, “Our stand had 7 tables and a meeting room. In our stand, hoteliers not only from the Alanya region but also from different cities in the Mediterranean basin came and met with tour operators and made appointments. On the other hand, our large volume tour operators also met with hoteliers at our stand. Because, as you know, the ITB Berlin Fair is a very costly fair and even if large tour operators take a stand, it is not enough. Therefore, they also hold meetings with different areas. Both tour operators from our different source markets and our own hoteliers held meetings at our stand. We participated with a large stand in order to provide this opportunity. Alanya was also successful in this.”

“ALANYA’S TOURISM DEVELOPED WITH GERMAN GUESTS”

Sili, stating that the three main markets of the Mediterranean basin in terms of numbers are Russia, Germany and England, said, “Germany has been a very serious source market for many years, sending the most guests to the whole world. Therefore, although Alanya’s tourism started with the French in the 50s and 60s, Alanya later developed its tourism based on the demand of the Germans. Today, it is one of the leading countries sending the most guests to Antalya and Alanya in Turkey. When we look at the figures of the last year and the previous years, it is very important for us not to lose the German market in this sense. On the other hand, I want to emphasize that we need to create new demands. Because Germans, by their nature, once they start staying in a region or a hotel, if they are satisfied, they do not change it for years. However, we need to create a process where this generation will also show a more serious interest in our country, taking into account the expectations of the new generation, their preferences in terms of products, their indifference to traditional marketing methods in terms of marketing channels, and their interest in new digital marketing. In this context, the German market is a very important market, not only for our region but for the whole world.”

“ONE OF THE BEST THINGS TURKEY DOES IS TOURISM”

Responding to a question about the problems experienced in the tourism sector and the increase in numbers with the pandemic process, President Sili said: “Here I would like to point out an important issue that needs to be highlighted. As you know, the Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) was established in Turkey in 2019. Today, despite the fact that we realized this much later than our competitors and countries with a say in tourism, we have achieved a very serious success in terms of marketing. Thanks to TGA, a serious work was done during the pandemic process in 2020. It was important for us to keep the flight channels open to our country in 2020 and to host guests, albeit a small number, despite the fact that a very large number of our facilities were closed that year. In other words, when we look at Turkey in general and Alanya and Antalya in particular, we continued the flow of guests despite the pandemic. Therefore, the increase and recovery in 2021-2022 was much faster than in other countries. In 2023, we also had the chance to serve our guests with record numbers, both in our country in general and in our region. On the other hand, of course, the works carried out by our Ministry of Culture and Tourism resulted in the spread of tourism to 81 provinces in Turkey, the work done for different products and different source markets, and the works done to increase the demand for Turkey in this context were extremely beneficial for the development of Turkish tourism and regional tourism. As for 2024, I can say that a very positive season awaits us with numbers above 2023, according to all the fairs we have participated in since October, the meetings we have held with tour operators and industry professionals, and the pre-booking figures we have. Tourism is one of the best things Turkey does. It is something I always say; it is Turkey’s oil, gold, whatever you say, but the tourism sector is a very important, indispensable sector for Turkey. Therefore, we can say that we will have a positive season next season and continue to contribute to Turkey, if there are no problems in the world.”