Posted on 09 July 2010
In 2008, the Dalaman region of Turkey caused quite a stir in overseas property and tourism circles. Well, actually that isn’t exactly true; put another way: the misinterpretation of reports about tourism to the Dalaman region caused the aforementioned stir.
What happened was the press picked up a press release from an Association of British Travel Agents member reporting that Spain had been knocked out of the number 1 position in favour of Turkey. The reports rang out about how Turkey was now the most popular destination for British tourists. This just wasn’t true; in actual fact, Dalaman had been the number one location, but Spanish hot-spots still dominated the chart, and Spain was still by far the most popular country for British travellers.
Not to knock the actual achievement, the fact that a Turkish town had been number 1 most popular after Spanish towns hogging first place for so long was not only a massive achievement, but an indication of things to come.
When we saw the story on Turkey having overtaken Spain as the number 1 destination for British travellers, we called ABTA to find out what was going on, at which point we got the real explanation straight from the horse’s mouth (well from the mouth of the parent body’s horse anyway). While the ABTA spokesperson laughed at how far from taking over Spain Turkey was, he was also very upbeat on Turkey’s prospects.
He said that while British tourism to Spain has been stagnant for years, British tourism to Turkey has been growing at 20% per year. He also predicted that Turkey’s growth would accelerate to 25% in 2009, but ABTA have since revealed that growth remained at 20% — still not bad in what was a bad year for international tourism.
Thus, with all this growth, Dalaman and all Turkey’s other tourism hotspots will no doubt take more positions on the ABTA charts in years to come.