With the coronavirus pandemic which spread its effect across our country as of March 2020, our most important source of revenue, the tourism sector, has taken a great impact in Marmaris, the pearl of the world. In the last year the measures taken in scope of the fight against the pandemic has significantly constricted the tourism season, and sadly resulted in serious losses. In the last year the TOBB Breathe Loan was implemented in two separate occasions under leadership of our organisation to provide some breathing room for our member. However, the travel restrictions implemented by the United Kingdom, the largest tourism market of our county, against Turkey until 23 September, as well as the Marmaris forest fires which started on 29 July and persisted for eight days, have ended the tourism season of Marmaris before it could start this year. Compared to previous years our county in general has experienced a revenue loss reaching up to 80%.
Due to these difficulties many members registered with our chamber have sadly had to close their businesses through these times. Our tourism sector members who endeavoured to pull through the last year by bank loans have now, I have to point out sadly, reached the point they cannot continue commercial activity. Now we face a winter period which will make us long for the winter months of last year which we had dubbed as the hardest winter of all time. Therefore, in accord with the requests of our members, measures particularly including postponement of taxes, SSI and Bağ-Kur payments accrued until the upcoming May to 22 May at the earliest, reinstatement of Short-Time Work Allowance covering disaster zones, and re-adaptation of the KOSGEB Emergency Support Loan which was allowed to businesses directly affected by the fires into a loan open for all businesses with main offices in Marmaris who are affected by the fire even indirectly as a "0" interest, 12 month grace period, 36 month maturity loan with a limit of TRY 100,000 will help our members to survive.
The tourism sector in Marmaris, the pearl of the world, faces a very difficult period due to the successive blows it suffered in recent years. Starting with the "Plane Crisis" experienced with Russia in 2015 and later followed by the 15 July Coup Attempt, the Father Brunson Crisis, the bankruptcy of world's largest tour operator Thomas Cook, the Covid-19 pandemic which spread across the world and the 29 July Fires which is the largest disaster suffered by Marmaris in the Republic History, these successive impacts have collectively brought the economy of Marmaris to a standstill. In addition to all these negative impacts, the travel restriction implemented by the United Kingdom, the major tourism market of Marmaris, until 23 September has caused a reduction of up to 80% in revenue in comparison to previous years.
In the Turkish Union of Banks (TBB) meeting organised in Marmaris on 20 August 2021, presided by Mr. Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, we have reported on the latest status of the economy of Marmaris and expressed the demands and expectations of our members from the banking world.
We hope measures which will help our sector find its legs again will be swiftly implemented.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the new year of all our members and wish you a healthy and peaceful year.
S. Mutlu AYHAN
Chairman of the Board
1- OUR AIM IS A SUCCESSFUL 2021 SEASON - 31.12.2020
2- WE ARE READY FOR THE DIGITAL AGE - 15.12.2020
3- DEVELOPMENTS ARE PROMISING - 01.12.2020
4- WE ARE EXITED FOR 2021 TOURISM SEASON - 01.09.2020
5- WE CONVEYED OUR REQUESTS FOR TOURISM SECTOR - 20.04.2020