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European planners turn their backs on Turkey

Research from Pro-Sky reveals 15 per cent fall in popularity for Turkey, as France and Italy register declines
27/05/2016

Pictured: Armin Truger, CEO of Pro-Sky

European event planners are turning away from Turkey in their masses according to new research from aircraft charter and group booking specialist Pro-Sky.


A survey among 220 European event organisations showed the country, which has been beset with political turmoil and terror attacks in the past year, has suffered a steep decline in popularity.


When asked if Turkey was ‘relevant to projects in 2016’ just 9 per cent said yes, compared to 24 per cent in 2015. It was a similar story for Istanbul, which was considered a relevant destination for 29 per cent of event bookers in 2015, yet that figures fell to 8 per cent this year.


The terror attacks of January and November 2015 were blamed for a 7 point fall in France’s popularity, but it remained a relevant choice among 29 per cent of respondents, and completed the top five alongside Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Italy also registered a decline in popularity, down 8 points to 30 per cent.


The research, published in Pro-Sky Destination Report for Europe, also found group stays are getting shorter, with event organisers favouring two-night events over three nights or more.


Pro-Sky CEO Armin Truger said: "We asked which European countries and regions would be particularly relevant to survey participants’ projects during 2016 and allowed them to provide multiple answers.


"The leading destination options were Spain and Germany, with 48 per cent each; Italy and Portugal, with 30 per cent each; and France, with 29 per cent. Of these destinations, only Spain rose in the rankings from its 2015 position. Portugal and Germany were flat, while Italy and France netted a significant drop in votes. The impact of the terrorist attacks in Paris doubtless contributed to the change in France’s ranking."


When it came to length of stays, two night bookings were favoured by 51 per cent of organisers in 2016, up from 46 per cent in 2015. Conversely, bookings for three nights or more fell by 18 per cent.


Truger said: "When asked about the events they are planning, survey respondents said that most would require participants to stay for one to three nights. Those were the leading categories in 2015, as well.

"However, there was a year-over-year increase in one-night and two-night stays, fuelled by a sharp decrease in the number of events that would require a stay of more than three nights."


Security was not rated the most important factor, with only 21 per cent of respondents saying it was "the most relevant criteria". Accessibility led the way (68 per cent), followed by budget (45 per cent), infrastructure (28 per cent) and activity (26 per cent).


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