Istanbul, Turkey – A survey by the well-respected German travel magazine Urlaub Perfekt has ranked Turkey the second most popular tourism destination of 2008 and second on a list of most complained about destinations.
Commenting on the results of the survey in a written statement yesterday, Europe-Turkey Tourism Business Council president Hüseyin Baraner said there has been a considerable increase in the number of bookings by foreign agencies since the start of the new year, corresponding to the findings of the survey.
The survey was conducted among 1,208 travel agencies operating in Germany. Nine hundred eleven agencies ranked the Spanish islands of Mallorca and Menorca as their “number one” choice. Turkey was chosen by 691 agencies as the second most favored destination for 2008. Greece came third in the survey, with 631 votes. An interesting result was that Italy and Tunisia, which are traditionally favored by many European tourists, were at the bottom of the list, with 133 and 120 votes, respectively.
Baraner called Turkey’s second position among the most complained about countries a “paradox,” underlining that this is not a new situation. He said that a similar picture had emerged over the last four years. A total of 751 agencies said Tunisia was most complained about tourism destination, followed by Turkey with 552 votes.
Baraner also noted another result in the survey — Turkey was voted the best in terms of prices and quality of service. It also led the list of destinations for families with children. “These rankings clearly show the apparent paradox of being the second most preferred country despite large numbers of complaints, he said.
Turkey hosted 23 million tourists in 2007, almost half of which came from Germany and Russia. Fueled by a government decision to decrease the value-added tax (VAT) to 10 percent from 18 percent for tourism investment, the industry is expecting to attract 26 million visitors this year.