Following a traumatic year in Turkey, it's been interesting to see how easy it is to lose market share, watch a drop in bookings and falls in revenue - all due to the over reliance on just a few sources of business.
The fall in the Russian rouble coupled with political tensions, drop in European markets and increasing terror alerts accompanied by political movements in the country has severely hit the travel industry, a sector that commands quite a contribution to the annual GDP.
On closer inspection, as we work with more hotels and resorts eager to boast their bookings and maintain revenue levels in a market that cannot be forecast, we are seeing the same repeated situation. The market is over-relying on traditional and existing business relationships without taking steps to develop new business partners or expand their market reach.
This is all about spreading the risk - and maintaining business.
A handful of channels is no longer enough when business cannot be forecast or predicted, and when existing partner business runs dry. A hotel cannot afford to be a victim of another businesses miss-fortunes, especially in a climate as unpredictable as the Turkish right now - and this is the same for many other areas in the world; certainly including Morocco, Spain, Greece, Italy.
We have found that travel businesses that have thrived in the region of Antalya and neighbouring cities have relied heavily on a client-base solely from Russia and Germany - and as a result have suffered immensely in the last 12 - 18 months. Numerous 'don't go to Turkey' campaigns have scared tourists away - but that does not mean that they are not there for the taking. There are still hundreds of thousands of tourists looking for a holiday, looking for a good deal, and who would still consider Turkey.
Countries typically bounce-back quickly from terror attacks, but are less likely to bounce back due to economical problems; therefore it is essential that the travel industry moves fast to prevent it being a prolonged issue that could worsen the economy for much longer than it currently has been. Data here demonstrates the challenges and the market opportunities: www.altid.org.tr/tr/Turizm-Istatistikleri/1906-2015-Ziyaretci-Sayilari.html
Budgets maybe slim, so be savvy with business partners
It's not time to rest on your laurels and hope that by putting pressure on your partners to find business will actually give you the results you expect. The best form of pressure is to invite other partners to work with you and find new avenues for revenue and booking travellers.
Resort hotels and big city hotels spend tremendous amounts of money towards keeping traditional travel agents and tour operators happy in order to market their properties to different countries, yet the return is becoming less transparent and less immediate. When short-term gains are needed, instant returns have to be seen.
Therefore by expanding the digital marketing options through adwords, YouTube remarketing, facebook, instagram and social media marketing, - basically touching the customer direct yourself - you can market the properties to many more countries and visually monitor through instant reports the success of this investment to optimise bookings.
More baskets with eggs, is better than one basket with all eggs hatched.
READ MORE: Middle East Hotel Travel Market Report 2016