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26.06.2007

Campaign calls on Alanya's merchants to respect tourists


An interesting initiative is taking place in the Mediterranean resort of Alanya, a district in Antalya. A campaign called "Respect for Our Guests" was launched by the trade chambers with an aim to create a more secure environment for tourists in the district.

The campaign initiated by the trade chambers led by Alanya Chamber and Commerce (ALTSO) included 10,000 brochures and 1,000 posters.

 ALTSO Chairman Kerim Taç said on Thursday that Alanya had 805 tourist establishments approved by the ministry and municipality as of the end of 2006 together with a 157,000-bed capacity.

He said tourism was the most important source of income in the district that stood at $1.4 billion annually and that the campaign aimed to develop regional tourism and create a safe environment for tourists in Alanya. He said as the Alanya-based trade chambers they believed that providing a safe atmosphere for shopping was inevitable in Alanya in order to combat the problems faced by the tourism sector as well as develop regional and country tourism. "For this reason, we decided to provide this atmosphere especially in Alanya's shopping centers and streets. We launched such a campaign to eliminate the problems arising from commercial establishments as well as to create a safe and peaceful atmosphere so that tourists can shop and walk around in every corner of the district without being disturbed and forced to buy things."

Noting that surveys indicated that the most disturbing thing for tourists coming to the district was verbal and physical harassment as well as being forced to buy things, he said the complaints included being insulted when they didn't buy.  

"These kinds of attitudes discouraged tourists from coming to Alanya. The tourist establishments in Alanya are also very old. The quality of service is vital for competition. This should be provided," he added. The 10,000 brochures will be handed out to the tradesmen while posters will be displayed in visible places, he said and added that the campaign aimed to increase public awareness on the issue and increase the respect for tourists.

The brochures explain how to behave toward tourists and warn against variation in prices. A Web site is also planned to support the campaign.