Turkey that attracts visitors to the country

Turkey that attracts visitors to the country

Bozcaada, a Turkish island in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, is one of many places in Turkey that attracts visitors to the country.CreditDanielle Villasana for The New York Times

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Bozcaada, a Turkish island in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, is one of many places in Turkey that attracts visitors to the country.CreditDanielle Villasana for The New York Times

The influx has also given the luxury market a push; in coastal resort towns like Antalya, on the nation’s Turquoise Coast, and Bodrum, which Homer called the Land of the Eternal Blue, the pace of high-end development is impressive. In Bodrum alone, the past three years have seen the opening of a Lux, a Nikki Beach and the Bodrum Edition, a boutique from Marriott and the Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager. A Banyan Tree, a Four Seasons and the first Hyatt Centric resort in Turkey are scheduled to join the pack in the coming years. Most of the coastal resorts offer packages geared toward Arab and Russian visitors, as well as programs for medical tourists.

But Westerners with business ties to Turkey warn that the weak Turkish economy will take its toll. Marcus Moufarrige, the chief executive officer of Servcorp, a multinational office-space provider with properties in Turkey, said that this week, as the Turkish lira crisis unfolded, that he put the brakes on a real estate deal because the landlord refused to accept Turkish lira for payment, insisting on only United States dollars. Turkey may have been able to rebound from terrorism, he said, but economic woes can pose a much greater risk for business.

“If you look historically at emerging markets, the geopolitical situation hasn’t alway been the biggest deterrent [for investment], unless there are sanctions in place,” said Mr. Moufarrige, who steered Servcorp’s Asian operations through political crises in Malaysia and Thailand. “It’s really only when the economy hits the fan that people get spooked.”

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More on Turkey’s Economic Crisis

In the short term, some Europeans are jumping at the chance to travel to Turkey. The lure of a bargain break has already pushed up numbers this month from Britain, with direct flights between Turkey and Britain now selling at nearly the same rate as 2015. And those new tourists are following the path of the Russian, Arab and Asian tourists who prefer inclusive resorts and prepaid group trips.

 “The tourism industry here has completely changed,” Mr. Aykac, the tour guide, said. “For the past two years, I haven’t received a single call for business from my ordinary clients.” To make ends meet, Mr. Aykac has begun working with Taiwanese groups, partnering with an English-speaking Taiwanese guide who translates his notes into Chinese. The double translation creates a barrier between himself and his tourists, Mr. Aykac said. “It’s almost like two blind guys conversing with each other.

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