Energy crisis makes EU tourists and entrepreneurs reorient to Türkiye

With the energy crisis hitting Europe, citizens are bracing for a harsh winter with strict controls on natural gas consumption. At the same time, a kind of ‘energy tourism’ is emerging. Europeans are booking Turkish hotels to spend the coming cold months. Entrepreneurs are also reorienting themselves…
According to Ferhan Ademhan, board member of the Anatolian Tourism Operators Association, bookings for November have increased by 50%. Normally their facilities in the holiday regions are 50% from September, 80% in October and completely closed in November. “This year our facilities will be running at full capacity. We think our tourism target will reach 40 million this year. So far we have exceeded 26 million. This means $35 billion in revenue” (*1)
The Netherlands-Türkiye Chamber of Commerce foundation signals that the explosion in gas prices has also made some Dutch entrepreneurs decide to arrange things differently. Some agri-greenhouses will be emptied this winter. Tomatoes and cucumbers will be planted only at the end of winter (*2).
Other energy-intensive sectors in cross-border EU clusters are also considering scaling down production, which will affect related sectors. “Türkiye can offer alternative, long-term solutions in the field of food, energy and climate change,” said Peter Wolters, vice-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce foundation. He is referring to the growth limits of agriculture (nitrogen/Natura 2000 legislation) and a future lower water level (*3).
In addition to these energy and climate challenges, Türkiye can also serve as an alternative to the (still) unpredictable Covid restrictions in China. The dramatic devaluation of the Turkish Lira has of course not gone unnoticed.
Specifically, Mersin offers prospects for Dutch entrepreneurs. 40% of agricultural exports come from Mersin. The port and Free Zone facilitate foreign markets. The already strong logistics sector will be blessed with the international/regional airport Çukurova (to be completed by the end of 2022) with a large loading capacity. Fresh fruit and vegetables with a high added value (cherries, strawberries) will reach EU markets in a shorter time.
The first and only Agri-Food Technopark is located in Mersin (Agropark Mersin). The allocation of office and production space to agricultural food companies with R&D projects has already started.
The Chamber of Commerce Netherlands-Türkiye foundation in Rotterdam and partner Dutch Turkish Trade in Istanbul regularly consult with sustainable Agri R&D institutions and potential investors interested in sustainable innovations.


*1) Source: Daily Sabah, 19-9-2022

*2) Source: Financieel Dagblad, 28-7-2022

*3) Source: former Dutch minister of agriculture, interview NPO-2, 29-7-2022