DestinationsTürkiye will now be the name on everyone’s lips as travel almost recovers to 2019 levels.

Talking Turkey: A new brand and a booming tourism sector

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Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people's culture, civilization, and values, president says.
Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people's culture, civilization, and values, president says. Photo Credit: GettyImages/frantic00

If there’s one success story during Covid 19 – a destination that has defied the pandemic - then Turkey is a contender.

Except Turkey is no longer Turkey.

It’s Türkiye, after the United Nations agreed to a formal request from Ankara.

Several international bodies will be asked to make the name change as part of a rebranding campaign. 

"Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people's culture, civilization, and values," Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the BBC in December.

Türkiye or Turkey, the country is doing okay.

True, a weak lira has helped Türkiye to become a more competitive tourist destination and inbound bookings to the country have doubled since January 2022.

CAPA, the Centre for Aviation, notes the Turkish lira (TRY) has lost 89% of its value against the US dollar over the past 10 years and halved over the past year. 

However, CAPA says, Turkish aviation “continues to fly in the face of the lira’s fall in fortune”.

Turkey's weekly seat capacity is now at 97% of 2019 seat capacity levels, which is well above the Europe average of 88% in the week of 30 May. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines are both above 100% of 2019 capacity.

Mayur Patel, Head of Asia, OAG Aviation said, "Turkey has recovered ahead of many of its counterparts in part through resilient network and capacity build-up to maintain Istanbul as a major connecting aviation hub.

“For January to May 2022 period, there were a total of 287 routes operated with Turkish Airlines operating 85% of the capacity share from Istanbul hub. In comparison, for the same period in 2019, there were 281 routes operated with Turkish Airlines operating 81% of the capacity share.

“Based on the above data, Turkish Airlines has added significant capacity back into the market which has resulted in cheaper fares from specific markets to boost their network contribution from its vast route structure that it operates.”

Patel added, “A weak lira has also helped spur growth with its booming tourism sector and any increase in passenger carriage helps cover the variable costs such as current high fuel environment and weaker local currency that has a significant cost pressure on operations".

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