"Unregistered" tourism is increasingly becoming discussion topic of Türkiye travel industry.

According to reports, after Antalya and Aegean regions, cities of Black Sea Region and Istanbul became hub for unregistered accommodation which has been growing on Airbnb and Booking.com for a while.

Gulf market is on the verge of collapse

Ayman Maslamani, Heysem Tourism Chairman, whose company brings tourist Türkiye from Gulf states, said that because of unlawful accommodation and tours, Türkiye is about to loose Arabian market. "Middle Eastern tourism sector is on the verge of collapse due to both Arab property buyers in Türkiye and Turkish citizens offering their homes through Airbnb for unauthorized accommodation services." Maslamani said.

Hotels lost 20% of their customers

Maslamani stated that Arab customers make reservations through Airbnb and stay in these homes without official registration, saying, "Arab guests are renting 3+1, 4+1 houses. This is happening everywhere, from Istanbul to Trabzon, from Bodrum to Antalya. Due to this unregistered accommodation through Airbnb, Turkish hotels have lost 20% of their guests."

Occupancy in Bosphorus hotels fall to 40-50%

Maslamani highlighted that while travel agencies, that work in Gulf markets, pay taxes, social insurance, rent, and employ guides, the market is being overrun by those engaging in illegal practices. Maslamani "Arabs buy properties and rent them out for vacation purposes. Turkish citizens do the same. The entire system is based on illegality. Currently, hotel occupancy rates on the Bosphorus line are around 30-40% because there are homes available for every budget. For example, individuals from the high-income group, who would spend 5,000 euros to stay in a 5-star hotel, choose to stay in a luxury home for $1,000. Those with lower purchasing power stay in homes that cost $40-50 per night. An illegal tourism that benefits no one has emerged." says.

"We can not offer Bursa tours with price of 30 dollar"

Maslamani cristizes the officials who don't take measures against the growing unregistered tourism and says "Their power lies in not operating legally, not paying taxes, and not employing licensed guides. We used to sell tours to Bursa for $100, but now they sell illegal Bursa tours for $30. We cannot offer Bursa tours at that price. But they can because there are no taxes, no rent, and no guide expenses..."

Editor: Savaş Daş