Online booking portal Booking.com is expected to resume its activities in Turkey, Assistant General Manager of Promotion of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ahmet Temurci said Wednesday.
According to the tourism ministry official, the suspension of Booking.com is likely to be lifted after economy minister Nihat Zeybekçi holds talks with the company’s representatives.
“I believe that technical, financial and tax specific arrangements will be made after the consultations. Booking.com will resume its activities after fulfilling these requirements,” Temurci said.
Warning against any misunderstandings, Temurci emphasized that restrictions on the company’s activities were only domestic, meaning that users could still use the website to book reservations in Turkey from abroad, and vice versa.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) Osman Ayık noted that Booking.com is one of the most important platforms used by tourists.
Ayık said that Booking.com is responsible for a third of total tourism movement in the world, encouraging cooperation with such a platform.
“So if there are some troubles with Booking.com, we have to solve them at the tax scale or some other way,” he added.
On March 29, an Istanbul court ordered the suspension of Booking.com’s activities in Turkey, after the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) filed a lawsuit against the leading online travel agency.
The ban has led consumers to competing travel portals including Tripadvisor, Tatilsepeti, and Trivago, as the total number of tourist reservations has remained largely unchanged since the court order.
Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci announced last week that Turkish authorities will host officials from online booking portal Booking.com Thursday.