HolidayCheck Awards Do Not Reflect Turkey’s Potential
Rewards are an important part of a country’s promotion efforts abroad. In parallels with online reputation management, online review sites like HolidayCheck and TripAdvisor becomes more important for hoteliers. More and more tourists are using those online sources to make the final decision about their holidays.
HolidayCheck, the biggest online review portal for the German market, is especially important for the hoteliers catering to the German market. Unfortunately, Turkey was able to receive only 20 awards this year, just like last 4 years, which does not quite reflect the potential of the total Turkish market from a market size & quality standpoint.
This year, award types has changed which now only include HolidayCheck Award and HolidayCheck Gold Award. Turkey, receiving 43 awards in 2013 including the HolidayCheck TopHotels Awards, has been limited to 20 awards after the TopHotels Awards were cancelled. You can below find the amount of awards received from different portals and organizations in 2018.
*TripAdvisor award numbers are a total of Top25 Hotels in 11 different categories.
The reason behind this limitation is the “max 10 hotels from every region” rule and Turkey having only 2 regions, Turkish Aegean and Turkish Riviera. This limitation results in the omission of important touristic regions like İstanbul and creating an imbalance between the number of German tourists hosted and awards received.
Antalya Is Nr.1 In Online Bookings From Germany In Hot Season
Turkey has always been a Top3 destination for the German tourists, and according to VIR (Verband Internet Reisevertrieb)  Antalya was “the most preferred destination on online bookings” during the 2018 hot season. Unfortunately Turkey has been subjected to a much lower consideration when it comes to the award numbers it is receiving from HolidayCheck.
If the German tourist numbers and the nr. of awards received in Turkey’s competition set for the “Sea,Sun,Sand” tourism in 2018 is inspected, a ratio which is favoring the competition is revealed:
- Croatia: 2.7 million tourist, 6 awards (2.1 award/million tourists)
- Turkey: 4.4 million tourist, 20 awards (4.5 award/million tourists)
- Spain: 11 million tourist, 77 awards (7 award/million tourists)
- Greece: 4.4 million tourist, 55 awards (12.5 award/million tourists)
- Egypt: 1 million tourist, 29 awards (29 award/million tourists)
- Bulgaria: 0.58 million tourist, 20 awards (34.5 award/million tourists)
The only country receiving relatively less awards per million tourists is Croatia but this may be stemming from the fact that bed capacity of Croatia heavily depends on daily rentals (around 500.000) rather than hotel bed capacity (around 100.000). When you compare other SSS tourism countries like Greece, Egypty and Spain -which always receive big boosts to tourism in the years that Turkish tourism suffers- with Turkey, there seems to be a big discrepancy between the tourist numbers and HolidayCheck awards received. Even Bulgaria, which is now being promoted as an alternative destinaton in the German market, is receiving a very disproportionate amount of awards compared to its bed capacity and German tourist numbers.
Competitors in the Sea, Sun, Sand Tourism
The below graphic shows the number of awards received and German tourist numbers in Spain, Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. The left hand part is graded for nr. of tourists and shown by bar chart while right hand side is graded for award numbers shown by the line chart.
The main reason for this discrepancy is the “region numbers”. As every region is capped with a max 10 awards, more regions means more award possibilities. You can below find the number of regions HolidayCheck has specified in the respected countries, together with their award numbers:
- Spain: 12 Regions (77 awards)
- Greece: 8 Regions (55 awards)
- Egypt: 3 Regions (29 awards)
- Bulgaria: 2 Regions (20 awards)
- Turkey: 2 Regions (20 awards)
When you check the region number of Greece, you would find that nearly every famous island like Corfu or Rhodes is listed as a separate region. Spain also has 12 different regions like Tenerife, Ibiza, Canary Islands and Mallorca. Unfortunately Turkey is only evaluated with 2 regions, namely Turkish Aegean and Turkish Riviera which does not reflect the true potential of Turkish tourism.
Antalya Should Not Be Limited To Only 10 Awards
Antalya, today with more than 500 qty. 4 and 5 star hotels and nearly 600.000 bed capacity, is able to compete with many countries in Europe. Antalya, with its very dense hotel population, could be divided into more regions and awarded accordingly which would provide a fairer consideration.
Total Hotel Numbers and Bed Capacity:
- Antalya: 2.000 (4* and 5* ratio %26) – Bed Capacity: 593.000
- Greece: 9.745 (4* and 5* ratio %17) – Bed Capacity: 781.000
- Spain: 14.659 (4* and 5* ratio %18) – Bed Capacity: 1.472.000
- Bulgaria: 2.240 () – Bed Capacity: 228.000
- Croatia: 691 (4* and 5* ratio %44) – Bed Capacity: 135.000
According to the Germany market report of Ministry of Culture&Tourism, the second biggest destination of German tourists is İstanbul. It is also important to note that İstanbul was named “Top Destination of the World” in 2014 by TripAdvisor but is neglected totally by HolidayCheck in its award evaluation.
Also the Cappadocia region of Turkey, which received nearly 3 million tourists in 2018 and is listed in “TripAdvisor Top25 Hotels of the World” with a hotel, is not present in any of the HolidayCheck award evaluations. Cappadocia is only receiving 8% of the total German tourists in Turkey but has potential for much more.
HolidayCheck Awards Should Reflect Turkey’s Tourism Potential
Awards play a big role in the promotional activities of a country. The current number of Turkish hotels listed and awards received is not proportional with the hotel bed capacity & overall hotel quality of Turkey. HolidayCheck , the largest online review platform for the German market, limits the nr. of regions of Turkey to 2. This leaves important touristic destinations like İstanbul and Cappadoccia outside of award consideration. Antalya, which has been the nr.1 destination in online tour package sales , and other destinations of Turkey have great potential to attract more Germant tourists if the number of awards in HolidayCheck increases.
 Antalya is the nr.1 destination in online bookings from Germany: https://v-i-r.de/2018/08/22/vir-praesentiert-die-beliebtesten-urlaubsziele-der-deutschen-fuer-die-sommerferien-2018/
 Bulgaria Accomodation Estalishments: https://www.novinite.com/articles/181133/Total+Number+of+Accommodation+Establishments+in+Bulgaria+Increased+with+0.5+in+May+2017
 Greece Accomodation Estalishments: https://www.pwc.com/gr/en/publications/assets/hospitality-investment-strategies-in-greece-en.pdf
 Croation tourism numbers: https://www.total-croatia-news.com/business/21189-croatian-tourism-analysed-what-do-the-record-numbers-mean
 Ministry of Culture&Tourism of Turkey Germany Market Report : http://www.tanitma.gov.tr/Eklenti/59106,almanyapazarraporu2018pdf.pdf?0