Destination Turkey

Playfully enticing its visitors with the vibrancy of its chromatic tourism portfolio, it comes as no surprise that one of the world’s most coveted holiday destinations serves as the perfect getaway for the family market. Tatiana Tsierkezou discovers Turkey’s appeal.

Emanating a culture entwined with ultimate tourism sophistication, vibrant Turkey promises the contemporary traveller an eclectic escapade. Those seeking anything from adventure to culture, awe-inspiring natural wonders to an extensive retail portfolio, encapsulating entertainment and incomparable relaxation, will come to the realisation that the country is fully-equipped and highly-capable of satisfying the demands of any traveller, on any budget, at any time.

“Ranging from world-class hotels, an array of gastronomic experiences, cultural and historical attractions, all is harmonised through the authenticity of Turkish hospitality,” affirmed general manager, Hyatt Regency Istanbul Ataköy, Stefan Radstrom.

ATM2020

Meanwhile, marketing and PR manager, Sheraton Adana Hotel, Esma Sena Çatak told TTG: “Research shows that the interest in Turkey rises day-by-day. According to data released by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism in January 2015, foreign visitors for the whole of 2014 totalled 36.84 million, up 5.52 per cent compared to the same period last year.”

A UNITED ESCAPADE

So how does the tourism industry of this all-encompassing country perceive the value of the family market?

Answering just this was managing partner, Blue Phoenix Travel, Ufuk Gökdeniz: “The family market is huge and every year I receive more family groups. We are very lucky as Turkey makes it easy to create programmes that appeal to all family members.”

Gökdeniz explained to TTG that Blue Phoenix Travel tailor makes its itineraries: “I generally design separate programmes for families. While elders sit back on the gulet decks, younger members discover the neighbourhood; or while males are visiting cultural highlights, I send the ladies on special shopping tours. This style allows the family to be more connected and they return with fun and interesting stories to share.”

Also remarking on the significance of the family market to Turkey, was deputy manager, Cappadocia Cave Resort & Spa, Ali Haydar Bektas: “The family market is very important for tourism in Turkey. Families with dependent children represent an important current and future market for tourism providers here.”

And with this in mind, TTG further investigated to find out exactly what the necessary components are for a family traveller.

“Young families with more than one child tend to opt for family holidays in the south of Turkey during the summer season, where the all-inclusive concept offered at hotels allows families to have more control over their holiday budget,” business development manager, Connection Tour, Yesim Müsellim exclusively shared.

Echoing this sentiment was Çatak, who declared: “Families are beginning to prefer Turkey’s large and all-inclusive resorts to summer residences.”

Müsellim continued: “Hotels also provide dedicated children’s programmes during the day, which gives parents the chance to have some time to themselves. Direct charter flights from many airports means that families get to spend less time travelling which is an essential factor when travelling with children.”

Adding to the list of vital components for family travellers, Radstrom expressed that Hyatt Regency Istanbul Ataköy is fully equipped to cater to the needs of this particular market.

“We understand that families have specific needs and expectations. Our property is a welcoming city resort and a family friendly hotel which offers connecting rooms, extra bed options, complimentary breakfast for kids, kids’ amenities and a family friendly spa and fitness centre with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, as well as a kids’ pool. Turkey is a family driven society and there is the opportunity for this segment to grow.”

Reiterating this was senior marketing executive, Renaissance Izmir Hotel, Sinem Sidan Ekiz, who reflected on the many attractions surrounding the property.

“Izmir, the pearl of the Aegean, has a lot to offer families. The biggest wildlife park in Turkey, Sasali Wildlife Park, museums, the historical old town being so close to the city centre, lack of traffic jams, the laid back approach of the locals and the great weather make Izmir one of the favourable cities of Turkey.”

MARKET THOUGHTFULNESS

The national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines has also recognised the need to cater to this particular market segment and is doing so by incorporating various beneficial services within its offering. Not only does it provide various bonuses such as in-flight entertainment granting families endless hours of enjoyment, it offers special meal options, among other things, but it has also adapted its loyalty programme to better benefit the family traveller.

Vice president of marketing and sales – Middle East and Cyprus, Turkish Airlines, Adem Ceylan explained: “Our commitment is to offer passengers the best experience regardless of whether they are families or individuals. However, we are keen to cater the best services for families.

“Our Miles&Smiles Classic Plus and Elite members can start using miles earned by their family members. Family membership will allow them to collect and spend miles to/from one single account, which enables them to achieve more programme awards. Family membership consists of their spouse and single children under the age of 25,” he added.

Turkey’s tourism industry is poised, ready to welcome all genres of travellers, yet it provides something extra special for those seeking a memorable and exciting family holiday.