The biggest question in Marmaris each year is, “what will tourism be like this year”? This is asked by just about every small business owner; particularly owners of over abundant apart hotels. It’s a very tricky question actually and hard one to answer because there is such a large number of apart hotels, one can never really determine at the least, if they will do just “ok”.
An aproximate 70 percent of all businesses in Marmaris fall into the category of tourism. So what does this tell us? Certainly that Marmaris is a city of tourism, not only because of its location but also because of the type of businesses that address that sector and the visitors that come to Marmaris each year – this includes visitors by cruise ships as well. The cruise ships alone account for approximately 150,000 tourist visits in Marmaris annually. If Marmaris has a local population of 45,000 locally, the arrival of tourism season multiplies the population by around 5 times that amount – or does it?
In the last few years, particularly 2010 and 2011; business hasn’t been as good as can be expected. Should it have been? The reason for this relies on many differing factors; namely, marketing, local businesses and the global economy. If we take the reasons that are controlled by Marmaris itself: marketing and local business, one may say that it could do better in making Marmaris one of the best resorts to visit in Turkey. This is where the municipality, local tourism office, the Ministry of Tourism and the local business owners have to do their part to increase and attract the potential in the tourism population. Well have they done anything? Good question. We can’t say much about the businesses, but certainly the municipality has. However has the municipality chosen a good time? Did they start a bit late for this and bite off more than they could chew? A good portion of the allowed budget for city expenses has been spent this year to restore, renovate and develop the areas of the main city center and underground services.
Still Under Construction
The restoration and development projects of Marmaris have been the biggest in the last decade. Taxpayers monies have been well spent – so many say. Is this a good sign that Marmaris will do much better in 2012? That is still hard to say.
As we enter the month of April, there is still construction going on – even though tourists have started to arrive for their holidays and travelling around the centrum near the public beach and marketplace, downtown. The roads in certain areas, particularly in high traffic areas are not finished. It’s quite discomforting. The residents are patient, but what do the tourists have to say about the restricted access? Will it be finished in time for the middle of the tourism season? Was the timing bad to take on such large projects in so many different areas at the same time? Should the municipality have taken on less and finished sooner so that everyone could get on with their business on time and in time for the opening of the season? Currently some business owners are experiencing loss in sales due to no or limited access to the front doors of their businesses and all the heavy equipment and other machinery still around.
According to the mayor in a news clip with Marmaris TV, the main Ataturk Square and the Marmaris promenade will be completed in time for the Children’s Day celebration ceremony on April 23rd and the new water park, located where the old Tansas building once remained, will be completed by May 19th for the Youth Sports Holiday celebration and ceremony. As it looks now, local businesses can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. This years main city attraction is the new water park. With still so much under development, one can’t seem to look at the situation all that well. Will Marmaris still be under construction even during the tourism season or at least right up until the middle of it and to what extent will this effect the businesses and arriving tourists?
When all this development began, it took away a good area of the city for use. With the city now open for tourism, and construction still going on, and all this heavy equipment lying around and blocked road access, what kind of start is this to the season and will it affect the remaining part of the tourism year, should it get completed in the middle of the summer? Was too much bitten more than it could be chewed?
Will this year be a total right off? And will the local businesses expect that it will be better for them next year? A more important question, what impact will this all have on the first time tourists to Marmaris? Here they have planned their holidays, paid the expenses, they have either arrived in Marmaris or will be soon – to see what? The internet is viral… need we say more?
There are so many unanswered questions remaining, which makes one ask; will Marmaris tourism be a flop in twenty-twelve? I guess we will all have to wait and see.
What do you have to say about Marmaris, its tourism and for tourism this year in Marmaris? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below either through your facebook account or the comments area below that. Thank you.
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