Further support planned for boutique hotels to boost Turkish tourism

HAZAL ATEŞ
ISTANBUL
Published

The Turkish government is preparing a new move to achieve its goal to become one of the top 10 countries in tourism by 2023 by using the Spanish example, which generates around $60 billion from tourism annually. In this context, the government now aims to support boutique hotels instead of five-star hotels and holiday villages.

Moreover, investments in hostels and boutique hotels will be supported similar to those in Spain, where the share of hostels and boutique hotels in the tourism sector has reached 70 percent. While the infrastructures of smaller-scale, boutique tourism are being organized, flexible use of five-star hotels will be provided. For instance, detached houses within the hotels will be converted into various models, such as long-term rentals, for more effective use.

Recalling the government's target of 50 million tourists and revenue of $50 billion by 2023, Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said there was an increase of 60 percent in the number of tourists in Antalya in the first seven months, stressing that they will focus on accessing new markets such China, the Far East and India, as well as tourism diversification, especially related to sports and health.

Moreover, it was reported that tourism revenue in Turkey in the second quarter of this year increased by nearly 9 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching $6 billion, while the share of hostels and boutique hotels in the country's tourism sector does not even reach 10 percent. However, that share is expected to increase up to 35 percent with new transformation program.

Recalling that Spain's tourism revenue hovers between $56 billion and $60 billion, Development Minister Lütfi Elvan said five-star hotels in Turkey have a lot of bed capacity and that the infrastructure for boutique businesses should be developed.

Minister Elvan also said there could be a new system that would provide flexible use of five-star hotels, saying: "There are houses in the hotels that could be converted into different models such as long-term rentals. We think that a number of regulations should be made to ensure the flexible use of the hotels."

Furthermore, nearly 3 million seaside resorts on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts are also expected to add value to the tourism sector. Moreover, a more active use of these summer houses, primarily used during the summer and inactive during the other months, has also been planned. Since the '70s, Spain has built a large number of houses to be sold to foreigners in coastal regions. Within the context of tourism-purpose housing construction, separate projects were undertaken for middle-income Europeans and rich Arab sheikhs. More than 16 million houses were built in Spain in this context. The number of tourists coming to the said country, which stood at 1 million in the 1950s, jumped to 34 million in 1973 and 57 million in 2008. With this model, Spain has become a country that earns 11 percent of its national income from tourism. During the said period, the Spanish government examined all the hotels and restaurants and classified them, while food and accommodation prices were kept under control.

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