Marmaris takes action to draw Turkish tourists
MUĞLA - Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoMarmaris, a favorite especially among British tourists, aims to draw Turkish tourists who spend much more money than foreigners.
One of the most visited tourist places in the western province of Muğla, Marmaris was also very popular during the Ramadan holiday. The 8 percent of Turkish tourists in the district increased to 25 percent during the holiday. As shopkeepers were pleased with local tourists’ potential of spending money, tourism officials in the town have initiated efforts to make Marmaris a center of attraction.
The South Aegean Hoteliers Association (GETOB) President Bülent Bülbüloğlu said they would meet Turkey’s leading agencies to bring Marmaris to the forefront in Turkish tourism. He said these agencies’ newspaper ads were mostly focused on Bodrum, Alanya and Çeşme, adding, “A few hotels from Marmaris were included in these ads. We have invited the owners of big travel agencies.”
He said they would hold a meeting for domestic markets and tell them their expectations and then would take necessary steps.
Bülbüloğlu said facilities in Bodrum had reached maximum occupancy during the Ramadan holiday and in the case of focusing on the local market, occupancy rates would be full throughout the season.
He said Bodrum had become a center of attraction in domestic tourism since it was preferred by many Turkish and foreign famous artists, sportsmen and businessmen and Marmaris was also as attractive as Bodrum. “We are not late yet. If we start today, I believe we will be in a better position than Bodrum in a few years,” he said.
One million British tourists
Bülbüloğlu said Marmaris was strong in the foreign tourist market and it was a handicap for the domestic market.
“Marmaris hosts 1 million British tourists annually, whereas Bodrum cannot exceed 400,000. It regressed in the British market this year. Marmaris is stronger than Bodrum in the Dutch market. The strong British market in Marmaris intercepts the domestic market. For example, if we give 100 rooms to the British market in May and June, we should also give rooms in July and August. Bodrum does not do it because its domestic market is very strong in July and August. The 100 rooms given to Brits decreases to 10 in Bodrum in these two months.”
He said if they can solve the quota problem with tour operators, agencies, hoteliers and the airport, Marmaris would take the share it deserved in the domestic market.”
Noting that Turkish tourists spent more money than foreigners, Bülbüloğlu said Turkish tourists went on holiday to spend money. “Especially restaurants see this,” he said, adding, “Turkish tourists go on holiday to eat and drink. We, as a nation, want to have a feast during dinner. Foreigners are more picky.”