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Lira drop won’t instantly affect Turkish tourism prices: Industry insider

(People's Daily Online)    15:56, August 20, 2018

Chinese travel agencies disclosed that they will not adjust the prices of Turkish travel packages and tours instantly, after the lira recently dropped to a record low. They predicted that travelling to Turkey will become cheaper in October, ThePaper reported on Aug. 14.

The lira drop occurred during Turkey’s peak travel season, making shopping cheaper. However, as a long-distance destination for people living in China, Turkey won’t see an instant influx of Chinese tourists as organizers need several days to prepare for these trips, said Feng Rao with Mafengwo, a Chinese travel services platform.

Industry insiders suggest tourists pay close attention to policy changes within Turkey, adding that they could visit the country in October when fewer people will be there.

“The summer packages have almost sold out. The next travel season will be in October with some tours almost fully booked,” said Xiao Yinyuan with Ctrip, China’s leading online travel agency.

The lira drop has already enticed many Chinese tourists to plan a trip to Turkey, with shopping included on the itinerary.

A Chinese tour guide in Turkey said high-end stores are currently packed with people, while certain luxury items are sold out. Some Chinese tourists have even abandoned their original itineraries to go shopping.

Xiao said Ctrip will give tourists more time to shop when designing future itineraries. From Aug. 12 to 14, Ctrip saw the search for Turkish travel packages and products rise by 150 percent, and hotel room bookings rise by nearly 200 percent.

2018 marks the China-Turkey Tourism Year. According to statistics from the Turkish culture and tourism department, during the first five months of this year, 159,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey, a year-on-year increase of 96.1 percent.

Turkey expects to receive 400,000 Chinese tourists this year, and the recent fall in lira could make that expectation a reality much faster than first anticipated. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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