At the press conference held at the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa, Cornelia De Luxe Resort Hotel General Manager Ali Şahin (left) and Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa General Manager Zafer Alkaya (middle) who both released statements with regard to this topic said that 2012 was a tough year for the Turkish and Antalya tourism industry but that 2013 looks generally positive. While Turkey climbed up the ranks with 32 million tourists in 2012 and took the 6th place among the worldwide tourism industry it came 12th with the amount of 23.440 billion $ generated in the tourism sector.
Antalya, hosting 5,882,586 tourists in the first 7 months of 2012 increased this number by 10% in the first 7 months of 2013 to 6,297,887 guests. With 1.8 million guests from the Russian Federation and 1.4 million guests from Germany these two countries sent the majority of tourists to Antalya where the number of domestic tourists was recorded as 236,000. Equalising their yearly overnight stay already from the 3rd Quarter onwards and hosting guests from 45 countries all over the globe Cornelia Hotels became one of Antalya's most preferred resorts in 2013.
The Interest of Developing Countries in Turkey is Growing
Stating that the year 2013 was a more productive year than 2012 Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa General Manager Zafer Alkaya said: "There is a general increase of 10% recorded in Antalya for the first 7 months from January-July. There is a very pleasing growth noted especially from markets such as 20% from Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan, 7% from Britain, 15-16% from Russia. According to the data covering the first 7 months of 2013 the major 5 countries sending tourists to Antalya were Russia with 1,835,783 guests, Germany with 1,424,188 guests, The Netherlands with 327,275 guests, the UK with 241,441 and the Ukraine with 218,307 guests. The data for the first 7 months for guests from the German market, however, may be misleading as the number of German tourists shows an increase in the less warm months of September-October-November."
Remarking that the number of domestic tourists showed a 5% increase in the Belek region according to the data from the end of July Cornelia De Luxe Resort General Manager Ali Şahin stated: " Rival destinations in the Mediterranean Basin such as Spain, Italy and Greece succeeded in turning their previous years' losses caused by the economy with pricing and heavy advertising campaigns back to a positive position this year. According to a research conducted by an international ticket selling web site developing countries are showing a vast interest in Turkey this year. Despite the long distance the countries at the top of the list were the South American countries Argentina on the first place and Brazil on the second place. Compared to the searches in these countries for Turkey in 2012 these 2 countries have searched for us the most. Far Eastern and African countries follow South America. Accordingly, one concludes that people's interest in discovering and learning about different cultures overcomes physical distances."
Despite growth the Russian market is not up to our expectations
Indicating that the Russian market showed fragility in 2012 Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa General Manager Zafer Alkaya stated: "This fragility continues to a certain extent. The Russian tourist does not primarily consider Antalya anymore. As the Russian tourist's financial power increases they wish to travel more and discover different destinations. Spain, Italy, Greece, Thailand and the Maldives have started to be part of the Russian tourist's choices. In 2012, the number of Russian tourists in Spain reached 1.5 million. In the first half of 2013, Spain recorded an increase of 33% which shows that they will have hosted 2 million Russians by the end of this year. The Spaniards have started to seriously weaken our stand in the Russian market with their new price advantages, brand-image advantages, activities specifically for Russians, shopping facilities and conveniences provided to tour operators."
Luxury Holiday Expectations Are Increasing
Explaining that the continuing financial crisis in Europe has changed the European tourist's holiday habits, Zafer Alkaya gave the following information: "Instead of having a holiday for 2-3 weeks the European tourist goes on vacation for 1 week. Furthermore, Antalya is not irreplaceable for the Russian tourist anymore either. Especially Spain is in terms of international stars, football teams, art performances, countless famous touristic regions and international success in sports ahead of us, unfortunately.
They never give up advertising and are still the nation investing the most in the promotion of their country. The quality of hotels coincides with the quality of the environment. With high-standard restaurants, bars, pubs, cafés, quality leisure centres, shopping centres, luxury shops selling genuinely branded goods, international events, art performances, opera, ballet, concerts, street performers and similar other advantages Spain is lively with tourists spending money all the time. The luxury consumption expectation does not coincide with the standard of the environment in Antalya. The European tourist who spends money does not show an interest in all-inclusive concepts. Preferring Turkey as a holiday destination is what the European tourist who looks for an economic holiday does. It is mainly the Kazakhstanis, Uzbeks, Azerbaijanis and Romanians who are interested in the luxury tourism in Antalya and the suits as well as luxury villas are to 80% requested by tourists from the latter nationalities. Furthermore, the domestic tourist has recently started to show an interest in the luxury tourism. During Ramadan Festival 30% of the suits and luxury villas were occupied by Turkish tourists. However, as there is a demand for these luxury villas and suits in Antalya their number rapidly increased and difficulties in their sales have started to be experienced."
Football Tourism Chose Antalya
On the other hand, Cornelia De Luxe Resort General Manager Ali Şahin stated that the Belek region should not just be seen as a summer tourism destination and that it has become a popular region for golf, football, convention and Spa tourism. With regard to this topic, Ali Şahin further explained: "Antalya is in a very successful momentum in the football tourism. In 2012, 1200 football teams of 5000 who travelled the world for football tourism had their camp in Antalya. The football tourism sector generates an income of around 50 million Euros for Antalya. Although we say we compete with many countries with Portugal being the main rival in the golf tourism sector, they have 354 golf courses while we have 14 golf courses. Our biggest advantage in the golf tourism sector is that these 14 courses are located in very close proximity to each other. The golf tourism industry generated 130 million Euro for Antalya in 2012."
Also, giving information about the convention tourism sector Ali Şahin remarked: "In 2012, a total of 500 conventions and symposiums were held in Turkey of which 107 were held in Antalya and 10% of those at the Cornelia Hotels. In the first 7 months of 2013 90 of a total of 606 conventions and symposiums were held in Antalya of which again 14 were hosted at Cornelia Hotels. The convention tourism industry generates an income of approximately 2.5 billion $ worldwide. As Cornelia Hotels we are very actively promoting in this market. For instance, our hotel is among one of the hotels around the world which will host the 2014 ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) convention. According to the evaluation of the ICCA board of directors which had their meeting in Frankfurt, Germany; it has been decided that the 2014 General Meeting which will be attended by 3500 professionals who shape the world convention sector and convention planners from 95 countries all around the world will be held in Antalya."
General Manager Ali Şahin who also talked about the market share of the Cornelia De Luxe Resort Hotel in 2012 said: "40% of our guests who we hosted in 2012 as the Cornelia De Luxe Resort Hotel were from Europe and 23% were from the CIS market. Our golf guests made up 15%, the domestic market 10%, MICE 5% and sports 2% of our customers. In adverse, in 2013, we have already guaranteed 40% more pre-bookings compared to the previous year in the golf, football and convention tourism segment."