Buy one Antalya vacation package, get one free

June 19, 2008, Thursday/ 20:05:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
A travel agency in the Turkish resort town of Antalya has launched a promotional campaign offering a two-in-one vacation deal intended to invigorate the domestic tourism market.
Hamdi Çetin, the owner of the agency, told the Anatolia news agency that the campaign was launched to relieve people of stress stemming from prospective financial troubles related to summer holiday plans. Çetin said his agency worked with three and four-star hotels in Kaş, Kemer and Antalya, and paid a minimum YTL 65 a day for a package including breakfast and dinner. The two-in-one deal will cost YTL 65 per person (with one person free) through June and YTL 100 in July and August.

Çetin emphasized that their first and foremost concern was to provide equal holiday opportunities to Turkish citizens, who sometimes feel neglected in the face of better-off foreign tourists that crowd southern beaches throughout the summer.

Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD) President Volkan Şimşek told Anatolia that the most intense hotel season had begun, noting that such promotional campaigns mostly aimed to help fill three-star hotels not preferred by people who often go on vacation only once a year. "Today, taking a vacation is all about the free market economy. In Antalya, for example, you can find a hotel that costs you $27,000 per night, while you can also find one that costs $10 a night. The pricing is naturally done in line with the quality of the service provided," he stressed.

Noting that such campaigns were particularly appealing to people from the lower income brackets, Şimşek added: "Those who want to holiday here should not have high expectations and must absolutely obtain information about the hotel beforehand. The distance of the hotel from the sea is a measure, for instance. Our people can benefit from these campaigns as long as they don't have high expectations, given that in the end, they're getting what they're paying for."

Şimşek also said there were no vacancies in most of the five-star hotels in the Mediterranean. "We are suffering from a lack of rooms. And we're expecting a greater number of European and Russian tourists in Antalya in the coming days."

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