Turkey to phase out 5-star hotels

Huge five-star hotels have become for Turkey almost “no alternative” type of tourism. What is the reason?

At the thematic meeting “Alternative Tourism and Investment Opportunities”, which was held as part of the 13th Bosphorus Investment Summit, Bentour Chairman Kadir Ugur addressed Turkish entrepreneurs. He urged to abandon the mass construction of 5-star hotels, giving preference to boutique hotels with a national flavor. According to him, such a decision will benefit the development of “cultural tourism”. He declared, quotes BB.LV:

“Turkey must decide what kind of tourism it prefers.”

As the main problem, he sees the fact that five-star hotels-resorts have become practically “no alternative” type of tourism for the country, pushing the rest, including cultural tourism, to the sidelines. Tourists, notes Kadir Ugur, have ceased to fully travel around Turkey, and if they go, then only on one-day excursions and to the most popular places. He stressed that a “layer” of other types of tourists is gradually forming:

“Tourists who come with cultural tours don’t want to stay in typical big hotels. We need to decide whether we support mass tourism or individual tourism, or both? Previously, we brought 3,000 tourists each — and this was considered good, now the scale below 200,000 looks frivolous.”

Mr. Ugur recalled that quite recently travel around Anatolia was in demand – tourists “went for culture” for 3-4 days, stayed in small hotels on the coast and returned to their country. However, the problem gradually arose that the “other” Turkey, except for “all-inclusive”, the tourist does not know. And it turns out that while the coast earns massively from tourism, other regions receive almost no benefit from tourism. He called on all interested parties to delve into the problem, assuring that he was right:

“Cultural tourism is extremely important for Turkey. About the museums opened in the country, they started talking in Europe. But it is necessary to take into account the specifics of such tourism. A tourist who wants to tour the same Anatolia does not want typical five-star hotels – he says, give me hotels that correspond to the character of this country. European tourists do not want to “join the masses”, where tourism turned to the individual. We need to downsize again and move to a boutique hotel system.”

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