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‘The Russian Market Deserves More Attention’

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Mehmet Dahaoğlu, Vice President of Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation, criticized Turkish tour operators for not participating in the MITT Moscow Tourism Fair: “Unfortunately, Pegas, Coral, and Anex chose not to be present at such an important fair, disregarding the Russian market and receiving reactions from Russian agents.”

The MITT Moscow Tourism Fair, one of the world’s most important tourism fairs, has begun. Alanya is being represented at the fair by the Alanya Tourism Promotion Foundation (ALTAV), with a dedicated Alanya stand located in the same hall as the Turkey booth. On the second day of the 29th edition of the MITT Moscow Tourism Fair, there is a significant turnout at the Alanya stand. Mehmet Dahaoğlu, Vice President of the Alanya Touristic Hoteliers Association (ALTID) and ALTAV, who is monitoring the pulse of the fair, provided the following information about his meetings:

We participated with a dedicated booth as ALTAV. Our tourism colleagues from Alanya are conducting their meetings at our stand as well. On behalf of Alanya Mayor and also ALTAV President Adem Murat Yücel, we are making contacts. Many tourism professionals are visiting our booth at the fair. We hosted Peninsula Tour General Manager Fahrettin Çiçek and Assistant General Manager Çağın Güleç at our stand, engaging in discussions about the Russian market. During the same fair last year, we conducted promotional activities under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism. It was a time when the Russia-Ukraine war had just begun, and participation was almost non-existent. However, this year is the opposite; there is a significant crowd at the fair. Correspondingly, the Alanya booth is also experiencing a high level of activity. European countries are not participating in the fair due to the sanctions imposed on Russia. Iran, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, and Asian countries are working tirelessly to gain a share of the Russian market. These countries can be considered as our competitors in the Russian market.

 

“STRATEGIC MISTAKE FROM TOUR OPERATORS”

Turkish tour operators not participating as exhibitors in this market are considered a strategic mistake by visitors. The decision of major tour operators such as Pegas, Coral, and Anex Tour, which transport the most passengers from Russia, not to participate in the fair is very disappointing. They might perceive this market as a piece of cake. I do not find it correct to reduce promotional and marketing efforts with the idea that “Russians are coming” in mind. Sadly, Russia, the most important market for Turkish tourism, is being ignored at such a crucial international event. This is not an acceptable situation. Local agency representatives we spoke to at the fair expressed their reactions because they could not find operators to make deals with. Moreover, hotel operators are putting their hands under the stone to participate in the fair. However, the fact that agencies are not present at the most important tourism fair in Russia could harm this market. Of course, there are workshops, local promotions, and social media promotion efforts, but we believe that it is necessary for them to have a booth here, even if it is small, both in terms of prestige and supporting the fair.

Our Turkish hotel operators were also indifferent. Unfortunately, we could not see even a tenth of the participation in ITB Berlin.

 

‘TGA BOOTH SHOULD HAVE MORE ACTIVITIES’

As ALTAV, we continue our promotional efforts for Alanya and Turkey in Russia through social media and web-based platforms. However, fairs are also very important, both in terms of prestige and the warmth of face-to-face agreements. I find the activities carried out by the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) at the Turkey booth insufficient. There are quite a lot of shows and events in other country booths. Even if there are no entertainment services, at least Turkish flavors should be presented to potential visitors. In this regard, it is necessary to reconsider the booth activities.

 

‘WE SHOULD TAKE RUSSIA SERIOUSLY’

If the war in Ukraine ends, undoubtedly, at least 7 million tourists will come from Russia. Relations between Russia and Turkey are also progressing well. We should support not only our promotional activities but also the fairs they organize. We know very well how our country’s tourism was affected when Russians couldn’t come in 2015 due to political reasons. In summary, we should take the Russian market seriously and not be complacent with the thought “They are coming anyway.”

Ukrayna ile savaşın bitmesi durumunda Rusya’dan hiç şüphesiz en az 7 milyon turist gelecek. Rusya-Türkiye ilişkileri de iyi seyrediyor. Tanıtım çalışmalarımız dışında düzenledikleri fuarlara da destek olmalıyız. 2015’de Ruslar siyasi sebeplerden dolayı gelemediğinde ülke turizmimizin ne denli etkilendiğini çok iyi biliyoruz. Özetleyecek olursak Rusya pazarını ciddiye almalıyız, “Nasıl olsa geliyorlar” diyerek rehavete kapılmamalıyız.

 

‘ALANYA STAND WAS OUR PRIDE AT THE FAIR’

A representative from one of Moscow’s local agencies visited the Alanya stand, presenting a T-shirt as a gift. In return, we provided him with souvenirs from Alanya. We engaged in mutual exchange of ideas regarding the promotion of Alanya and shared our knowledge. Among our visitors was the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Moscow, Mehmet Samsar. He showed great interest in the Alanya stand and congratulated us on our efforts.

 

‘NO OBSTACLES IN RUSSIA FLIGHTS’

The news we saw in the press yesterday, stating that Turkey would not provide fueling and aircraft maintenance services to Russian planes under pressure from the United States, saddened us. However, the Russian Ministry of Transport’s press service stated, “Russian airlines’ flights to the Republic of Turkey continue as usual. The Russian Ministry of Transport is in consultation with the Turkish side regarding refueling for Russian planes. There are no issues in ground services at Turkish airports for Russian airlines.” Meanwhile, tour operators have reported that they have not yet finalized their flight agreements. These agreements will take shape according to developments. Hopefully, any potential issues will be resolved, and we will enter the 2023 summer season with motivating developments.




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‘The Russian Market Deserves More Attention’