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Prospects for Kalkan tourism in 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 January 2018

Kalkan beach 2017

Kalkan’s emergence over recent decades as a firm holiday favourite is a great success story.  The Brits in particular have taken the place to their hearts and an incredibly loyal fan base has developed.  The local economy has been transformed and thousands of locals have either directly or indirectly benefitted from tourism.  Some of them have become very wealthy.

But this impressive success story did take a bit of a knock over the last two years.  The seemingly unstoppable upward tick on the graph took a serious downturn - in common with the rest of Turkey.

As we look forward to the season ahead there are a number of indicators to suggest that 2018 will see that upward tick return.  In this report we explain why.

FlightsFlights - Catch 22 (çıkmaz durum)
If tour operators don’t perceive a demand, they won’t put on flights.  If there are no flights tourists can’t come to Turkey, so there will be no demand.  You can’t book a flight that doesn’t exist.

A classic Catch 22 situation.  At some point the operators have to believe that there is a demand.  Finally they appear to have got the message because we have seen all the major players seriously increasing passenger capacity to Turkey this year.

According to a report published by ABTA in December 2017, bookings to Turkey for 2018 are up by 69%.  It looks as though holidaymakers who tried western European destinations for the last two years are returning to Turkey in significant numbers.  This upswing, although maybe not as high as 69%, is confirmed by local businesses and agents we have spoken to.

Direct flights to Dalaman are available now from no fewer than eighteen UK airports.  As always how prices are set remains something of a mystery and fares are all over the place but we have seen some real bargains online so it pays to do your research.  A direct flight to Dalaman is always going to be preferable from a time perspective but other routes to Antalya and via Istanbul are always worth a look.

Kalkan hotelsAccommodation
It’s going to be an interesting year for holiday rentals in Turkey.  The early signs are that bookings for 2018 are bouncing back.  Quite a few owners are telling us that bookings are up by at least 30% and sometimes higher, which is very encouraging.

From what we have heard bookings will not be back to 2015 levels but so far at least there is a real improvement on last year.  This is the time of year when people get their holidays sorted out so its still early days but it’s a promising start.

The full impact of the scheme for registering rental properties with the Jandarma (GIYKIMBIL), and the requirement to establish a business here in Turkey remains to be seen.  We are aware that some property owners have withdrawn from the holiday rentals market because they don’t want the hassle.  For those who remain in the game it is reasonable to believe they may pick up a slightly bigger slice of what looks like being a bigger tourism cake this year.

However things may pan out, holidaymakers have nothing to worry about in terms of availability.  There is still plenty of choice with hotels, villas and apartments all competing for your business, and as with flights, there are some bargains to be had if you take the time to shop around.

An interesting footnote to accommodation is the fact that quite a few properties in Kalkan and the surrounding villages such as Islamlar are now being advertised for the domestic tourism market.  Last year saw a marked rise in the number of Turkish people coming on holiday to Kalkan and this is expected to continue in 2018.

So what has happened to bring about this welcome change from tour operators and the bounce back in bookings?  What are the underlying factors that are breathing confidence back into the Turkish market?

JandarmaSecurity and safety
We are told that a major factor in people avoiding Turkey over the last two years was the risk of terrorism.  In fact we could more accurately say the perceived risk of terrorism, because perception and reality are not the same.  Some tabloids have a lot to answer for.

Sadly recent months and years have demonstrated quite clearly that terrorists may strike anywhere.  We all watch the news and read the papers so we won’t list the places.  

It may be cliched to say “You can’t let the terrorists win.  Life has to go on as normal”, but what else is there to do?  It may be a well worn phrase but it’s true.  Perhaps the experience of terrorist incidents across the western world has made people realise that you should just get on and do what you want to do, and trust that the security services are doing their job.

Whatever you want to say about Turkey (and people have plenty to say) it is an incontrovertible fact that the security services are pretty active when it comes to dealing with suspected terrorists.  Mostly we are not aware of the action they are taking but locally it is reassuring to see routine roadside checks being conducted.

Advice from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is honest and realistic.  It tells you which places to avoid; places that are far away from Kalkan.  It states that most visits by the 1.7 million British citizens who come to Turkey are trouble free.  But yes, there is a risk of terrorism.  The bottom line is that the FCO is not advising people to avoid Turkey, but simply to be vigilant and stay away from potential hot spots.

The coup and the State of Emergency

The situation has calmed considerably since the attempted coup on 15th July 2016 but there remains a State of Emergency which the Turkish government has renewed every three months since the attempted coup took place.

We don’t comment on the political situation in Turkey but for all practical purposes the ongoing State of Emergency is not something that impacts on daily life here on the Turquoise Coast - and certainly not for foreigners.  Nobody can say when it will end but what we can say is that if you come to Kalkan on holiday you will notice no difference whatsoever.

The exchange rate and your holiday budget
Perhaps the best thing here is to draw your attention to the charts below, which explain how far your pound will go in Turkey compared to the euro-zone.

Below: GBP v TRY: 2013 - 2017.

GBP v TRY: 2013 - 2017

Below: GBP v Euro: 2013 - 2017.

GBP v euro: 2013 - 2017

We will let you do the maths.  As we publish this report the GBP v TRY exchange rate is close to 5.3.  Despite the fact that we do have double digit inflation your holiday budget will stretch further in Turkey this year.  We believe the excellent value for money you get with a holiday in Turkey is an important factor that has led so many holidaymakers to switch back from western European holiday destinations.

Key factors
In summary it’s our view that the key factors in this year’s bounce back are the availability of more direct flights; perceptions of security and safety; political factors settling down, and the excellent exchange rate (value for money).  These things have either changed for the better or they are viewed differently now.

But we can assure you that many other factors are no different from before. 

The friendly, welcoming people of Kalkan; the blue skies; the stunning mountains and landscapes; the warm and inviting Turquoise sea, and not forgetting of course those amazing restaurants and bars for which Kalkan is renowned.  Some things don’t change.

Kalkan beach 2017

It’s good to see optimism returning to Kalkan. We wish all businesses every success this year and we hope that you manage to get your Kalkan fix in 2018.

 

Kalkan Turkish Local News - your window on Kalkan Turkey.

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Last Updated on Friday, 19 January 2018