FRANKFURT - Reuters
Summer bookings to Turkey by German
holidaymakers are down by more than half after a spate of bombings, with tourists instead heading to Greece
and Egypt, according to German
market researcher GfK.
Tourism, which adds about $30 billion to Turkey’s gross domestic product each year, has been hammered by attacks blamed on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK) that have scared away tourists over the past year.
Summer bookings from Germany were down 58 percent at the end of January from a year ago.
“Greece is clearly benefiting from that, and Egypt as well,” Doerte Nordbeck, head of Travel Logistics Germany at GfK, told journalists at a news conference ahead of the world’s biggest travel fair in Berlin next week.
Germans’ summer bookings for Greece
were 67 percent higher than a year ago by the end of January, and the country has now replaced Turkey as Germans’ second-most popular holiday destination after the Balearic islands, she said, citing booking data from travel agencies and online portals.
Tour operator TUI had said in January that it had added around 40 percent more capacity on the Greek
islands of Crete, Rhodes and Kos to meet demand.
GfK said bookings for Egypt were up 91 percent from last year, but were still down 23 percent from before the 2011 uprising.
Norbert Fiebig, president of German
travel association DRV said hotels in Turkey were responding by slashing their prices, while chains in Spain and Greece
were taking advantage of rising demand to increase rates.
Booking portal Holidaycheck said this week that German
bookings had shown hotel prices in Turkey were down 12 percent from a year ago and those in Egypt were still down by 8 percent. Prices in Greece
were 5 percent higher than last year, it said.
With Germans booking earlier this year, DRV expects Germans’ spending on travel bookings to grow moderately, after increasing by 2 percent to 59.8 billion euros ($63 billion), excluding expenses made during their trips, in 2016.
Germany is the world’s third-largest spender on foreign travel behind China
and the United States.