Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:00

Thomson an...

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch for next year

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:00

Keen to expand on its portfolio of authentic US ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Working Ranch in its 2017 brochure, which is situated near Portal near the...

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles flights

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:00

Qatar Airways will provide UK holidaymakers with greater access to the Seychelles from December 12 when it launches daily flights via Doha.

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holidays is promoting a selection of winter getaway including a Christmas Craft Weekend at Dovedale in the Derbyshire Dales, Festive Walking At Dovedale, A Seasonal Stay at Malhamdale in...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

At the Advantage Travel Conference I had the chance to talk to around 25-30 agents particularly during a 'speed dating' session. On talking with agents, I feel very optimistic on the future of independent travel agents on the High Street, as the majority of them said that business in general is doing well, with January and February particularly strong, with business slightly slowing down in March and April.

Regarding Turkey as destination, I found mixed feelings among the agents. Most of them told me that Turkey had started slow this year due to some bad press regarding the Syrian border, which had lost the confidence of the consumer. However, they are all optimistic about Turkey as a destination and they all had great knowledge on how big the country is, with all confident in telling their customers of the huge 1,200km distance between the Syrian border and the resorts. Agents are doing a great job trying to reassure their clients that there is nothing to worry about.

They also added that Turkey still offers the best value for money by far. They agreed the pound has gained a lot against the euro, and that has made the Euro zone much more affordable, but they still felt the Turkish Lira offered the best value for money with the pound being worth more than 4 lira (last year it was 3.5 lira). Percentage-wise, the pound gained 16% against the euro and 15% against the Turkish lira. Agents also commented that they are all looking forward to a strong lates market, as we are here at Anatolian Sky.

Some agents also mentioned that bookings are like waves - it goes from one country to another country year-by-year, without any good reason. I agree that consumers sometimes look to change their bookings each year, but I also definitely believe there is a power behind the changes and the direction of the waves. Most of the time these are coming from an outside effect, whether these are regional political problems, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or even global economic changes. I also feel the exchange rates can make a huge impact on destination booking patterns.

However, I also strongly believe you can fight and find a way to change the directions of the waves, rather than wait for the storm to take you. The most powerful way is to fight the waves and eventually change their course. Sadly, over the last four or five years, I don't believe the government of Turkey has been fighting strong enough to change the directions of the waves. We as individual tour operators or agents cannot change the climate of the market and we do not have enough funds to do this. But the Turkish Government can, as they did four to five years ago, where they allocated a £5million budget for the UK with a strong TV campaign on the main channels during peak times. I haven’t seen any major campaign or TV adverts on major channels since then.

I also believe the recent series of elections in Turkey have not helped. The Turkish general election is on June 7 and a large focus has been put on this. Before that it was the president election and prior to that it was local elections. This is now the last one so I'm hoping once this is over, a new government will focus on the destination's real problems and allocate some serious funds for the advertising and promotion of Turkey. I strongly believe there is huge love of Turkey in the industry and enthusiasm still remains; once the Government starts promoting the country on a bigger scale, all of industry will carry on supporting Turkey. We as Anatolian Sky decided to expand into Bodrum for 2016, as I witnessed there are a lot of new investments, including many luxurious choices for families and couples.

On a completely separate note, I heard of the terrifying experience some of delegates had with Pegasus Airlines on their return flight, where they had to make an emergency landing in Izmir. Onboard there was our lovely agency sales manager, Stephanie Robins, and editor of Travel Bulletin, Lauretta Wright. I spoke with both of them and they told me how awful the experience was, with many of the passengers left feeling puzzled and annoyed there was no proper announcement given by the pilot to advise exactly what was happening.

I have to add that I had similar experience two years ago with Turkish Airlines in Istanbul. We couldn’t land and the aeroplane got very close to the runway and then suddenly took off again, with my thoughts that the tyres didn’t open. All of the passengers were terrified but again there was no explanation from pilot. I believe this may be a cultural thing; I appreciate that the pilot should focus on the problem first of all, but wherever they can, they should reassure the passengers immediately, before everyone starts panicking when it could be avoided. I believe these early communications and reassurances would ease the tensions amongst the passengers and would also help them sort the problem in a calm and effective way.

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?