Skip to content

Tourism Minister debunks Greek island’s affordability, defends Turkish prices

Tourism Minister debunks Greek island's affordability, defends Turkish prices Maxx Royal Hotel, Bodrum, Türkiye. (Maxx Royal Hotel website Photo)
By Newsroom
Jul 1, 2024 12:07 PM

Social media has buzzed with claims that Greece offers cheaper vacations than Türkiye during the past few weeks.

Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Ersoy, responded to these assertions, offering detailed insights and counterarguments regarding Turkish prices.

Culture, Tourism Minister Ersoy criticizes Greek island prices

Regarding the comparison of prices between Türkiye and Greece, Minister Ersoy pointed out that Greek islands, especially Mykonos, are not as cheap as some claim. “Go to Mykonos and see for yourself; are the prices really cheap?” he questioned.

Ersoy emphasized that the Greek islands often have higher prices because of their limited options compared to Türkiye, which offers a variety of destinations and competitive prices.

These statements come in the context of growing debates about the cost of vacations in Türkiye versus Greece.

Reports have highlighted that high inflation in Türkiye has made its coastal regions more expensive, leading many Turkish tourists to prefer Greek islands. The cost of food and accommodation in Greece is perceived to be more affordable despite the exchange rate differences.

Observations from Bodrum’s luxury scene

During a recent 10-day holiday in Bodrum, journalist Fatih Altayli observed the region’s luxury accommodations and dining facilities. Altayli noted that the Bodrum Maxx Royal Hotel, owned by Minister Ersoy, charges $268,845 per week.

He expressed amazement at the high prices, comparing them to the world’s most expensive hotels. “If you can sell a room at this price, hats off to you,” Altayli said.

He suggested that such high prices could help raise the rates of similar hotels in the region, thus benefiting the entire luxury hotel segment in Türkiye.

The Bodrum Maxx Royal Hotel, besides its luxurious accommodations, houses several high-end dining and entertainment venues. One notable establishment is Scorpios, a well-known spot from Mykonos.

It offers beach, club, restaurant, and boutique hotel services. The opening night saw reservations for 4,500 guests, including many international visitors from the Arab world, Russia, Europe, and America.

Türkiye determined to become major tourism destination

Türkiye has launched extensive promotional campaigns targeting distant markets, including the United States, China, South Korea, and Japan. During the Trump-Biden debates, millions of viewers saw Türkiye’s promotional advertisements.

Minister Ersoy highlighted, “We started promotion activities there four years ago. We signed agreements with many global channels. By November’s U.S. elections, we will have aired 100 Türkiye ads in the most effective news programs.”

Ersoy outlined ambitious goals for 2028, aiming to be among the top three in tourist numbers and top five in tourism revenue worldwide. He emphasized the importance of increasing the per-night spending of tourists, aiming to raise it from last year’s average of $93 to $103.

“This year, our goal is 60 million tourists and $60 billion in revenue,” he stated.

Comparing costs between Turkish, Greek tourism destinations

Despite Türkiye’s aggressive promotion, Turkish tourists continue flocking to Greek islands. Reports from June 2024 indicated that because of high food inflation, Greek islands have become a more attractive option.

With a $65 visa, Turkish citizens can visit numerous Greek islands where prices for essentials like coffee, meals and accommodation are considered more reasonable.

In Greece, a Turkish coffee costs around $2.15 (₺70), while a hamburger is priced at $5.4 euros (₺175). A meal for two, including seafood, averages $10.76 (₺350).

In contrast, in Türkiye’s holiday regions, a cup of coffee costs about $3 (₺100), a doner kebab around $18,4 (₺600), and an octopus salad can reach $49 (₺1,600). Greek beaches are often free, adding to their appeal.

The debate over which country offers better value continues, with significant points raised on both sides. Minister Ersoy’s efforts to regulate the rental market and improve service quality in Türkiye are notable.

However, many tourists still perceive Greece as the more affordable option. As Türkiye and Greece compete for international visitors, both must balance quality, cost and the overall tourist experience.

Last Updated:  Jul 1, 2024 1:08 PM