Assoc. Prof. Murat Yücelen: The Russo-Ukranian War has Reshuffled the Expectations in Tourism

Assoc. Prof. Murat Yücelen: The Russo-Ukranian War has reshuffled the expectations in Tourism.

Assoc. Prof. Murat Yücelen, the department head of Tourism Management Department of the Commercial Sciences Faculty of the Yeditepe University has evaluated the tourism-oriented effects of the Russo-Ukranian War which occurred after the 2-year-long pandemic.
When it comes to the number of foreign visitors welcomed in Turkey in 2021, Russia took the first place, while Ukraine was the third. The total number of tourists from these two countries equals to a 6,750,000 people which is about a quarter of the total number of visitors in our country. In this context, Assoc. Prof. Murat Yücelen, who evaluated the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on tourism said: "Tourism enterprises that were not able to compensate for the losses of the past two years need a national support and coordination intervention because they cannot face the current challenges on their own."

 

“DESPITE ALL NEGATIVE FACTORS INVESTMENTS CONTINUED”

After saying that that despite all the negative factors that arose in the pandemic process, the continuation of investments were not halted at all, Assoc. Prof. Yücelen added: "Bookings from foreign countries were on the rise, curvators were coming back, and there had been a rapid recovery in congresses, meetings and conference organizations until the invasion of Ukraine; an event which surprised the whole world. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has changed expectations in the tourism sector yet again."

Yücelen has also said that the industry, shortly before the beginning of the season, faces new uncertainties brought about by a de-facto military conflict that takes place in such critical markets.
 

“COMPETITION BY LOWERING PRICES WOULD ALSO LOWER THE VALUE OF THE BRAND”

Assoc. Prof. Murat Yücelen noted that it has become difficult for companies to make strategic predictions about the tourism sector and to plan this particular year, given the increasing energy and basic needs costs around the world and internal and external macroeconomic factors such as the devaluation of the Turkish lira, high inflation and unemployment. He stressed that trying to compete by lowering prices would be the incorrect strategy as it could reduce brand value and lead to a contraction in demand.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE IN THIS CRITICAL PERIOD?

Assoc. Prof. Murat Yücelen, the department head of Tourism Management Department of the Commercial Sciences Faculty of the Yeditepe University, listed what is to be done in this critical period as follows:

"For the tourism enterprises that have not yet been able to compensate for the losses of the past two years and that cannot face these multifaceted challenges on their own, a national support and coordinated intervention is a must.

"In terms of support, we can think of granting supports in financial issues such as incentives, tax cuts, financing sources that will save at least the day and ensure the survival of our valuable brands, companies and frequented destinations.

"It is necessary to take more radical initiatives. For example, long-term sustainable strategies can be developed and an R&D unit can be created to analyze the industrial dynamics and trends in a scientific way in order to mitigate the effects of crisis periods.”

"The Tourism Advisory Board, which began with a mission to bring the public and the private sector together, can be functionalized properly.”

“The National Tourism councils can be conducted regularly instead of a day-on, day-off fashion.

"Also, in the developmental plans, the objectives regarding future of the sector were given in detail. The necessity to act with a mobilized approach for the de-facto realization of actions such as reducing the market dependence of Turkish tourism, developing new target markets, designing effective promotional and sales policies, increasing the quality and per capita expenditure of the sector while trying to increase the number of visitors is among those objectives.”

"Tourism activities in these areas do possess a multifaceted economic value. At the same time, these need to be evaluated with a consciousness regarding that tourism, for our country, is a national, unique and almost spiritual value.”