Tourists in Bodrum eat ‘the world’s most expensive dinner’
Many tourists now prefer stocking up on cheap snacks instead of going to a restaurant. DHA PhotoOvercharging tourists in Bodrum’s restaurants or cafés has reached such exorbitant levels that they sometimes pay more than 10 times the standard price, representatives of local associations have said, warning that the practice could frighten visitors away.
“Two bottles of mineral water are sold for 30 Turkish Liras [almost $15]. If no urgent measures are adopted, they will kill Bodrum. Tourists who come here eat the most expensive dinner and, to be fair, experience the biggest rip-off in the world,” said Mahmut Kocadan, head of Bodrum’s trade chamber.
He explained that many restaurant and café managers were looking to enrich themselves in just one summer season. “We hear all the complaints red-faced with shame. The shopkeepers are not aware that they are shooting themselves in the foot. Even rich people who come to Bodrum now go dining in the Greek islands, which are much cheaper,” Kocadon said, noting that tourists were now stocking up on cheap snacks instead of going to a restaurant.
Andrew Macton, a British tourist who spoke to Doğan News Agency, said he paid 1,850 Turkish Liras (over $850) for a dinner with his wife and three children in which they had fish and a few beers.
He also said he paid 200 liras for ice cream for five, adding that prices were expensive even compared to London’s most upmarket neighborhoods.
“We have had our holidays in Bodrum for five years, but this year prices have become unacceptable. That’s why we prefer to eat a small sandwich or döner when we go out of the hotel,” Macton said, adding that he did not know if he would want to return under the present conditions.
“We can take a vacation anywhere in the world with half of the money we spend in Bodrum. I am very sorry to experience this as someone who loves Bodrum,” he said.
Turkey has long tried to attract tourists with low and affordable prices. But for the past few years, prices in resort areas such as Bodrum and Çeşme have become exorbitant, due to rich tourists who prefer to pay more to show off their status. The practice, however, is now spreading to businesses targeting more modest families.