If you go on holiday to Turkey for longer than three weeks this year, you can save a lot, says Deniz Ugur, head of the Turkish travel agency Bentour Reisen, alluding to the exploding energy and living costs in this country.
The tour operator is already receiving twice as many inquiries as in previous years, and the trend is rising. Striking: In addition to pensioners, a completely new clientele is increasingly reporting.
FOCUS Online: You advertise long-term vacation in Turkey. A new offer?
However, the coming winter is not likely to be quite so normal… Ugur: That’s true and we also notice that from the inquiries that come in here every day and have already doubled compared to the previous year. One or the other customer gets personal on the phone. My doctor recommended the stay, many thought so far. Older customers in particular often book for health reasons. You want to be by the sea because of the breathing. The salt water is good for the skin. Allergy sufferers, people with rheumatism or arthrosis – a not inconsiderable proportion of our winter customers fall into this group. These people keep booking, especially because of the high-quality wellness centers. But now there is a completely different clientele.
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Admittedly, the scenario sounds tempting. However, most people are probably more concerned with something else at the moment than the question of whether screen work can be combined with wellness. Ugur: You are right and that is actually reflected in the inquiries. Energy prices and the cost of living are topics that are much more frequently discussed in customer discussions than internet use. Anyone who takes a holiday longer than three weeks can really save money here this winter. While spending in this country is exploding, Turkish hotels offer stability. Let’s take Antalya with its 300 days of sunshine a year. The heaters don’t come on here until mid-November and, as I said, gas bottlenecks are not to be expected. In general, the cost of living in Turkey is a lot lower than in German-speaking countries. When you say that long-term vacationers save: Does that mean that staying at home would actually be more expensive in the end? Ugur: It’s probably not quite like that. Calculate 1000 euros for four weeks all-inclusive for one person. The customers we speak to assume they spend between 500 and 1,000 euros on their household every month. From that point of view, I obviously pay a little extra when I travel. But let’s do the math honestly. If I stay at home I haven’t done anything for the price quoted. I haven’t been to the cinema, not even to the café, or to the swimming pool. In Turkey I can either go to the sea or the pool and there are no additional costs for coffee at the beach bar. Certain strategic purchases can also affect the total bill for long-term vacations.
Ugur: In Turkey I can have a suit tailored for 100 to 150 euros. One that has a goods value of 500 to 600 euros in Germany. And maybe I’ll use my stay to buy more things, like Christmas presents, which would be more expensive in Germany. Then I might be better off financially than if I had stayed at home.
Anyone who heats with gas receives a financial subsidy. But what about other types of heating? Tell us about your experiences: How expensive has it become for you and what are you doing about it?
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Incidentally, some colleagues tried to book the four weeks for 499 euros. Half a day after the offer was activated, it was no longer available. So there is little point in continuing the junk discussion. What happened there was simply dubious. However, let’s stay on topic for a moment. Even if the four weeks cost the 1,000 euros you mentioned: isn’t that a questionable deal? At home, for the price, I can just about heat the apartment and put food on the table, while abroad, on the other hand, I live like a prince? Shouldn’t that make you think?
Ugur: You have to see that in context. I am convinced that long-term vacations in Turkey can create a win-win situation, especially in the current situation. The season is getting longer in Turkey, which is boosting the economy. That’s good for every European country, especially now. And to what extent does Germany win? Ugur: As a society, we don’t have enough energy. If individuals are now absent as energy users, the rest of society has more available. I don’t see any problem with tax either, as the traveler is still assessed for tax purposes in Germany. The only thing he doesn’t pay is VAT.Exactly, something is missing in the pot.Ugur: Honestly, the energy issue is more important to me at the moment. Incidentally, the topic was raised by the German government itself. In the summer, grants were discussed for those who go on holiday in the south in the winter. The idea of profiting from this model does not seem alien to the state. Critics might reply: just run away, that’s antisocial. The problems have to be solved here on the spot.Ugur: Nobody here is talking about getting away. Long-term vacationers don’t run away, they help out. We are talking about a temporary change of location, the accusation of individual egoism cannot apply here. Strictly speaking, the behavior of the long-term vacationers can even be classified as social. Many companies have already reacted and are enabling and supporting their employees with new regulations in order to legally secure the modern form of workcation. Motivated employees and therefore also motivated citizens cannot be weighed in gold, especially in phases like the current one.
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