Tui is hopeful of a bounce-back in bookings to Turkey following the opening in the country of its first two Tui Blue exclusive hotels.

The 363-room Tui Blue Palm Garden, on the Turkish Riviera, and its sister property, the 375 room Tui Blue Sarigerme Park, on the Aegean coast, opened last month with a focus on technology, fitness and health. 

Tui Blue managing director Artur Gerber admitted the decision to launch in Turkey was made before bookings to the country took a dramatic hit following terrorist attacks.

“Otherwise maybe the decision would have been different,” he said.
Latest Euromonitor figures  show travel globally to Turkey is down 9.9% for the year to date.

Additional security measures were in place for flights to the UK from Antalya airport last week, with some passengers required to have their bags checked at the gate.

But Gerber said Tui’s Turkey bookings had already risen slightly in the past three weeks and was optimistic “this will continue for the next nine months”.

“Our priority is to satisfy the customers who are here, so they will tell their friends about it and come back next year,” he said.

Tui Blue hopes to open 30-40 hotels in the next five years and is looking at Thailand, Vietnam, the Maldives, Mauritius, the Balearics, the Canary Islands and Mexico.

Lucy Cook, general manager at Visions Holiday Group, which took on most of Turkey specialist Exclusive Escapes’ hotel and villa capacity when it failed last August, reported a “steady increase” in Turkey bookings since Easter and has even taken bookings for next year.

Helen Johnson, a director of Polka Dot Travel, said its bookings to Turkey were up in the past month.