Bodrum’s tourism sector is extremely disappointed by the resort’s low occupancy during the peak tourist season this summer – the Turkish long weekend. Hotel occupancy does not exceed 60%, mainly foreign tourists from Europe, and local tourists did not come to the resort at all to fill the beaches and make money for local merchants. Residents unequivocally name the reason for the failure – for them, everything in Bodrum has become too expensive.
“The beaches remained empty during the holiday, which risks becoming the worst in the last 40 years in the region. A small number of foreign tourists and expats from Germany and the Netherlands spend a relaxing vacation on the beaches of Bodrum, where in former years there was nowhere to step. Occupancy in many facilities does not exceed 60%,” Turkish media say.
Local tourists, who were counting on the resort, explain the reasons for the decline unambiguously – everything is too expensive. As Mehmet Yilmazoglu, who came to Bodrum with his wife and son from Istanbul, commented, the situation is as follows: “We are staying in a boarding house. In three days, 3 people paid 7 thousand Turkish liras. We drove our car, but the cost of fuel has tripled compared to last year. Also, we had to pay 600 lira to eat lunch for three people in a regular restaurant. I think this will be our last vacation or we can save money and go on vacation every 3-4 years.” As a reminder, the official exchange rate of the Turkish lira to the hryvnia is 1.70 hryvnias per lira.
Foreign tourists are also not the category that is ready to replenish the wallets of local entrepreneurs. Foreign tourists on the beaches are mainly from the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. “I have been working here for 22 years. I have never seen such a bad vacation. In normal times, there would be no space on the beach on these dates, we would be booked two or three days in advance… Now there are 6 people sitting on 60 sunbeds and they are drinking water,” complained a Turkish businessman who runs a beach club on Gumbet beaches.
Other representatives of the resort industry have similar problems – for example, boat tours. Prices for daily boat tours have risen from 150-200 lira last year to 300-330 lira – and there is no demand either. “During the holiday, 30-40 boats always cost 30-40 dollars and left. Today we barely raised six boats, half of them full. As with boat tour operators, we have never had the worst vacation,” Bodrum entrepreneurs complain.