ANNOUNCEMENT ON TRAVEL AGENCIES THAT WILL PROVIDE TOUR SERVICES ON THE TOURISTIC ORIENT EXPRESS IN THE 2023-2024 SEASON
According to the announcement made by the General Directorate of TCDD;
Touristic Orient Express is a private train operated for tourism purposes and not a train operated under public service obligation. The entire cost of the train is covered by ticket revenues and the fare calculation is cost-oriented and higher than other scheduled trains. In this respect, wagons are allocated mainly to travel agencies to create tour packages in this train operated for tourism purposes.
In addition, 2 (two) wagons are reserved for individual sale in each train trip for the demand of citizens who want to travel on the Touristic Orient Express with their own means.
Besides, to meet the transportation needs of citizens, there is also the Orient Express train, which operates daily on the same route as this train at much more affordable prices, within the scope of public service obligation.
For the fair and transparent selection of travel agencies wishing to request wagon rental from the Touristic Orient Express, which was put into service for tourism purposes, their applications were accepted by filling out an online form on the corporate website between 14.08.2023-18.08.2023 (inclusive), and the travel agencies that met the application requirements won the right to allocate wagons with the lottery broadcast live on the official website on 28.08.2023.
The prepayments of the travel agencies that qualified in the lottery were expected until 11.09.2023, the final allocations of the agencies that made payments were made and the agencies started to sell to passengers. In this process, the number of requests for the wagons whose allocation was canceled due to non-payment was high, and allocations continued to be made to all travel agencies with demand until 03.10.2023, starting from the agencies with fewer allocations in the lottery, following the same rules.
For the allocation of the last remaining wagons, an announcement was made on the corporate website on 03.10.2023 and additional demand collection process was initiated. After the evaluation of the additional requests, the remaining wagons started to be offered for individual sale to all passengers at the same time through the online ticket sales system as of 01.11.2023.
Except for the Touristic Orient Express, there is no train tour for touristic purposes with sleeper, couchette or pulman wagons on the Orient Express train, which is operated within the scope of public service obligation and provides transportation to all citizens at affordable prices, and which is operated every day on a scheduled basis, or on other scheduled (Van Lake Express, Southern Express, etc.) main line trains, and no allocation of space or wagons to travel agencies on these trains.
However, it has been determined that some travel agencies sell tours with misleading advertisements such as 'train tour, orient express tour, Kars tour, eastern tour by train' etc. on their websites and other sales channels.
Accepted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB); Travel agencies that cause unfair competition by not acting in accordance with professional solidarity and principles and that are found by the General Directorate of TCDD to be in violation of other competition and ethical principles, and that victimizes citizens, will be blacklisted by TCDD and their train tickets will be canceled and these companies will be notified to the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies.
In this respect, the list of 88 travel agencies allocated wagons on the Touristic Orient Express Train is included in the announcement on TCDD's website. Citizens should choose among the travel agencies in the announcement in order to avoid victimization when purchasing a tour package with the Touristic Orient Express this season.
For detailed information, you can access the TCDD announcement from the link below;
Sincerely for your information.
Association of Turkish Travel Agencies