At the Turkish resort, 500,000 tourists who “disappeared” were not counted, it is not known where. This is how the Turkish press described the situation in Bodrum. It is, of course, about plans and calculations – and their coincidence with reality. While Bodrum set a goal of attracting 1.5 million tourists this year, in reality, this number barely reached 1 million and it will be very difficult to reach the goal by the end of the season – and most likely these 500 thousand will never be found.
The reasons, as added by the local tourist associations, are high prices, which “cut” primarily the domestic tourist flow, and “the absence of the expected number of visitors from Europe and Russia.” However, the notorious “houses for rent” that draw demand and money away from official hotels were also mentioned.
As of July, hotel occupancy fell to 50%, barely recovering in August, when occupancy rose to 80%, but this did not have a serious impact on statistics – the resort is still far from the intended goal.
The manager of the Association of Professional Hotel Managers of Bodrum (BOYD), noted that the season as a whole turned out to be lower than expected. “European and Russian destinations play an important role in Turkish tourism, and we have not received enough interest from these regions. Interest decreased both in the domestic and foreign markets. But first of all, the problem is that foreign customers did not prefer Turkey,” he said.
He also complained that the recent increase in the number of daily rental deals in Bodrum hurt the hotel business. “It’s not fair. We pay income tax and VAT. We hire employees and pay them taxes, but on the other hand, the income comes from people who don’t pay any taxes and have no expenses. It’s a black hole for tourism. They make serious money, but they are doing it illegally,” the hotelier said and called on the government to “take measures.”
At the same time, as the experts added, hotels have accumulated credit debts since the pandemic, and at the same time cannot “meet new financial needs due to negative credit ratings.” It is also noted that some needs are very serious – for example, in Bodrum, there was a problem with hotels without water due to problems with power lines. And considering all the ways to solve them, hoteliers do not see them without state support.