How to ''sell'' summer: Turkish and Russian hotels willing to lower prices up to 50%
However, the campaign of early booking lasts only until March
Turkey has all the chances to return to pre-crisis sales volume, forecasted commercial director of NTK Intourist Sergey Tolchin at the opening of the regional tourism forum ''Tourism — perspectives and opportunities 2017''. In anticipation of the rematch, the biggest Russian tour operator brought 33 Turkish hotels to an exhibition in Kazan and only two from Crimea. Read more in the article of Realnoe Vremya.
Turkey wins due to price at early stage
After an eight-month break, Turkey's back in the orbit of interests of the Russian tourists. Long before the beginning of the tourist season, Turkish hotels made a loud request for a victorious revenge: it was announced a record reduction in prices up to 50% for early booking. ''It is justified,'' says Sergey Tolchin. ''The sooner a hotel receives the maximum load, the better it is.'' What is more, the campaign of early booking is adventurous for the tourists, too. In the next couple of weeks they will have the opportunity to purchase tours at ultra-low prices — a week holiday in Turkey will cost 20.000 rubles per person, including flights. For comparison, a similar trip to Sochi or Crimea will cost 10.000-15.000 rubles per person. ''But they can not be compared,'' said Tolchin. In Turkey almost all hotels work on system ''all inclusive'', i.e. with meals, whereas the Russian usually include only accommodation,'' he said. From April to November, the Turkish airline Atlas jet will operate daily direct charter flights from Kazan to Turkey.
However, this period of early booking lasts until March. By this time, the tour operators will have an opportunity to get the intermediate results — how much the Russians are still interested in Turkey. Meanwhile, according to January results of the Association of tour operators of Russia (ATOR), the interest in Turkey during the early bookings increased by 25-30% compared to the same period in 2015. After March, nobody can predict the cost of holidays for the Antalya beach.
Egypt without tour guides, and Crimea without access to the promenades
''The main theatre of the battles will take place on the foreign direction,'' outlined future trends Sergey Tolchin. ''During the Russian sanctions, many hotels in Turkey operated at a loss but managed to keep the quality of infrastructure, as the period was short. So they have a chance to return to pre-crisis volumes. But it will be difficult to resume tours to Egypt — the infrastructure have been virtually destroyed, even the Russian-speaking tour guides almost gone, and so on,'' he warned.
Meanwhile, the pace of early bookings show a continued interest in Crimea. According to Tolchin, now a large-scale work on the improvement of the promenades is underway: the demolition of the unauthorised construction and illegal tents in order ''mothers with strollers could walk down to the beach''. However, he acknowledged that many agencies have recently begun to work with Crimea, and ''so it happened that sometimes they sent the clients without knowing where''. In the end, tourists come with their maps exploring the area. ''Now the situation is improving — the beaches become more accessible, but the time is needed to catch up with Sochi.''
Kazan expects almost 200.000 football fans
Meanwhile, Kazan itself is becoming a place of attraction for tourist flows. As deputy chairperson of Tatarstan State Committee on Tourism Artur Abdrashitov told, this year Kazan hosts the qualifying matches of the Confederations Cup 2017 and therefore intends to break his own record in 2016 when it received 2.9 million tourists. ''Yes, Confederations Cup is held in a short period: only a few days. As the practice of holding the tournament in other countries show, this event increases the number of tourists by up to 20%,'' he forecasts. ''For this, we are preparing special programs for fans — special tours, and excursions programs''. He did not reveal all details before the official presentation: Kazan, together with Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi will present their own program for guests on March 12 in Moscow.
Meanwhile, Kazan hotels have already opened the booking with a price increase by 5-7% compared to last year. ''Unlike the forthcoming World Championship 2018 (11 hotels were selected – editor's note) for the sports teams it has been allocated only five hotels and there will not be many places,'' said Artur Abdrashitov. ''All the other hotels are available for booking for the tourists.''
Today 176.000 guests have been registered to participate in the Confederations Cup. It is much more than came to the Universiade-2013, he said. ''There is no information about their nationality: a lot of fans will come from countries of origin in the Kazan football teams. Of course, we dream about the national team reaching the semi-finals- then tourists will be even more. The Russian Railways introduces additional trains of cars to transport fans, and the bus company are forming new schedules.''