We went out and made a survey of more than 15 largest Blue Cruise tour operators in the World and with more than 80 different gulet owners. We also compared our last season (until now) with this season and this is what we might expect.
COMPARISON SEASON 2011 VS 2012!
– 74% travel agencies and gulet owners are saying there was a drop of around 10% – 15% in bookings in 2012 if you compare it to 2011 season
– The main reasons were stated as EU crisis, Olympic games, not so crowded July bookings because of Ramadan holidays and a large drop of Italian clients (in August).
– Last minute season grew in 2012 according to 2011.
– There was a lot of price competition going on which lowered standards in some gulets.
– Gulets that lowered the prices the least had the best feedback”s from clients and are also having great early booking season for 2013.
Here is what te CEO of Turk Yacht agency Mr. Eyup Bayraktaroglu is saying:
“The late-2000s recession is not yet over. International tourism might have gone through some slowdown in the past years, yet there”s evidence that demand is back up and growth is recovered. Customers say the markets might be still on the downside, but they have had enough waiting to see it”s over- they want to resume their vacation habits. The trend of last minute booking now making way again to an early reservation with our own bookings up 30% compared to last year.”
Alp Arslan – Admiral Tours:
2011 was better as 2012, although Italian economic recession immensely affected the sector for the most profitable month (August )in which Italians occupy lots of gulets as you know.
EXPECTATIONS FOR SEASON 2013 FOR TURKEY!
– 80% of agencies are saying they are expecting better 2013 season when you compare to season 2012
– Early booking started very well (bookings from August – December for the upcoming season), but after that, it was a bit of drop down in inquires.
– It is expected the season to be better but the Last Minute competition will be huge again.
What Mr. Mert Dincel from MG Yachting is saying:
“For 2013 season I’m optimistic. As in the US and in some European countries economic growth started, people will be less afraid of spending money. – MG yachting
Ariva Yachting agency from Bodrum:
“We believe gulet cruises will be more popular every year, however, the clients will be more careful when making bookings and will make more complete and detailed research before they will make a booking”.
Goolets projections for 2013 season!
Last minute season will be strong again. There will be lots of price competition and some gulet owners that will have problems with booking will lower the prices up to 30% – 50% especially for months September and October. We urge the clients to be very careful when booking gulets that offer this kind of discounts as this always means cutting corners and saving on services and this most of the times lead to unhappy clients and complaints. You can get very good VALUE for MONEY in Turkey if you book Early or Last minute but before you make a booking ask lots of questions and make sure you get good replies on your answers.
WHICH SEGMENT OF GULETS WILL HAVE THE BEST SEASON IN TURKEY?
– Survey for season 2012 stated that 68% of agencies in Turkey believe Standard Gulets with air condition and Luxury gulets (lower end) were selling the best.
– 61% of agencies stated that Deluxe gulets (high end) experienced problems with bookings.
– Clients still spent money on DELUXE gulets but they were much more careful in their selection.
– In past year the most popular SUPER DELUXE gulets were in 4 or 5 cabins category. Now more families are renting together due to lower costs/per person so 6 cabins, 7 cabins and even 8 cabins DELUXE gulets had very good seasons in general.
Goolets projections for 2013
Standard gulets with air condition will have a very good season. All gulets that have 8 or more cabins in Turkey will also be booked well. If we look at high season prices we believe that gulets that cost around 800 €/person/week and up to 1.300 €/person/week (including food) will sell the best. So Standard and Luxury gulets. Deluxe gulets in Turkey are amazing but the competition in this section is really huge. Owners that will be able to present to clients the most value for money will do better then gulets that will only offer huge discounts. Also, clients are getting smarter and smarter. Gulet in Turkey that provides AMAZING SERVICES (and can explain this to clients) and do not give away huge discounts are still booked very well.
Mustafa Danaci from Xenos Yachting:
“Standard and luxury group is selling better than the deluxe group. Lots of gulets have some problems with bookings but in the deluxe section the problem is a bit bigger”.
WILL THE CLIENTS ASK FOR BIGGER AND BIGGER DISCOUNTS OR THIS TREND WILL NOT CONTINUE?
– According to our survey, 69% of our partners are saying there was no booking made in Turkey in 2012 without a discount.
– The trend when it comes to discounts will stay the same in 2013.
There are some very good points being made when it comes to discounts in Blue Cruise business.
What we see clearly is that customers are becoming much more knowledgeable of the gullets world. These days it”s not uncommon to get a phone call from a client asking for a specific boat. They know gulets, recognize boats by name and can name the exact entertainment or water sports facility they seek and even the kind of food or wine they expect each day.
Ali Yuceulug – Serenity Yachting:
“I think word of mouth over the years gave people the impression that they should bargain for everything in Turkey, unfortunately. Therefore clients have always asked for discounts in Turkey. I think there is no difference between 2011 and 2012 but perhaps there is a slight difference between let’s say 2006 and 2012”.
Goolets Projection for 2013 and for the future!
There will be a HUGE SHIFT in clients mentality in 2013. Most of the clients will no longer be shopping for HIGHEST POSSIBLE DISCOUNTS but for BEST VALUE FOR MONEY. In the past, lots of gulets had expensive prices and then they offered 50% discount and made the sale.
Clients are getting smarter every year so the gulets that will offer realistic prices and very good value for the price in the first place and will know to explain the price (and value) to the client – WILL WIN BIG!
We will make a bold projection about Blue Cruise prices and what will happen in next 5 years in the market!
We (Goolets) believe that in next 5 years it will be very hard to get a bigger discount than 5% – 10%. Owners will make more realistic prices in the first place and they will stick to this prices. Owners that will give huge discounts will go out of business eventually.
Lots of gulet owners with DELUXE GULETS will start thinking about taking their gulets to other gulet charter destinations that do not have such a huge competition, such as Croatia, Italy, Greece or Spain.
So what are the final thoughts on Blue Cruise Trends we expect for Turkey?
Here we go. Trends for 2013 for Turkey.
1) Season 2013 will be around 10% – 15% better than 2012!
2) Cruise popularity, in general, is growing A LOT and this means good news for gulets also.
3) Gulet owners that will provide the best services for the money will not have any problems with bookings.
4) Standard and Luxury gulets will be booked very well. Deluxe gulets might expect some problems in lower season.
5) Last minute season will be HUGE AGAIN.
6) Clients that booked Early will pay more but will have higher satisfaction at the end of the cruise in comparison to Last Minute clients.
Trends for next 5 years for Turkey.
1) Smart gulet owners will concentrate on providing more value for same prices instead of giving bigger and bigger discounts.
2) Due to general cruise trends also blue cruise section, in general, will start growing the same way as it was 3 -5 years ago.
3) In next 5 years, DELUXE section will recover and will be selling the best due to global financial recovery.
4) Because technology is getting better and better gulet owners will be able to present their gulets in the best possible ways. Gulets that will know how to use this technology will get huge credibility boost and they will more easily present to clients why a gulet is worth 20.000 €/week and can not offer any discounts.
And clients will be happy to pay more if they will see they will get more.
All in all at Goolets we are very optimistic about the future of Blue Cruises in Turkey.
The tradition, the food, the hospitality, the services, amazing vessels and unique type of holidays! All this speaks to the advantage of this amazing type of holidays.
People are getting tired of mass tourism, classic hotel holidays and are always in search for something new.
And gulets still have lots of potential so we expect the positive trends in this section to grow a lot in next years to come.
I would like to give special thanks to all of the gulet owners and gulet cruise tour operators from Turkey that participated in our survey and for giving us their unlimited support in this market for so many years. Keep up the good work.