Despite ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to raise standards and promote sustainability certifications in the accommodation industry, unlicensed and illegal accomodation operations are proliferating across Türkiye.

Hundreds of hotels, lacking any official certification or possessing only a basic accomodation license, are falsely presenting themselves as 2, 3, or even 4-star establishments on popular booking websites. These hotels are found not only on international travel portals like Booking and Expedia but also on domestic platforms such as Etstur and Odamax, which is owned by the Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.

Holiday in the Minister Ersoy's hotel is breaking the bank Holiday in the Minister Ersoy's hotel is breaking the bank

Recently, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism mandated that hotels with municipal certifications must also obtain a ministry certification. Provincial culture and tourism directorates cannot carry out necessary and effective inspections on vast number of facilities due to lack of staff.

Tourism professionals speaking to Turizm Güncel highlighted that these unregulated hotels not only cause customer dissatisfaction but also undermine trust in the accommodation sector. Industry representatives suggest that online booking platforms should require proper certification from hotels before listing them.

A search within the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency's (TGA) system reveals that many hotels are selling rooms without proper certification or under misleading star ratings.

Editor: Haber Merkezi