Lidl’s discounted stays annoy Turkey

Lidl's discounted stays annoy Turkey
The city of Alanya, Turkey, is one of the top destinations on the Turkish Riviera. Adobe Stock

The brand has drawn the wrath of the media and Internet users with a travel offer on the Turkish Riviera this winter for German customers.

The offer seems unreal as it is tempting. A 22-day stay on the turkish riviera (also known as the Turquoise Coast), in five-star, all-inclusive accommodation for 599 euros. With transfer from the airport to the hotel and laundry service included. This is the proposal made by Lidl in its latest brochure for its German customers, promoting a stay offered by the tour operator BigXtra Touristik. And it looks like success is on the way. According to a Lidl spokesperson, quoted by BFM TVthe demand immediately exceeded the quota set for this stay.

This marketing stunt does not fail to annoy in Turkey. The country is plagued by high inflation (it is currently 80%) and an economic crisis, reports the German daily Handelsblatt . The more than competitive price offered by Lidl is lower than some monthly rents applied in the country. And this, without room service! “My beautiful homeland has become a cheap home for Europeans”, complains a Turk on Twitter, reports the German media. Another even calculates the price of the stay offered by Lidl via a Turkish platform: the price is two and a half times higher.

On the side of Germany, the offer is also debated. Many media are asking the question of the advisability of such a stay in the midst of the energy crisis. Would traveling become more profitable than paying gas and electricity bills? Our German neighbour, like the rest of Europe, is bearing the brunt of the rise in energy prices (it has been multiplied by two or three, depending on the Länder), brutally impacting German households. The argument of the economy could hit the mark, while the Germans should face very high bills this winter.

Turkey spared from the energy crisis

It must be said that Turkey enjoys a special status in this period of crisis. Although the country is in a complex economic situation, it does not face the same energy concerns as its European neighbors. It does not face the rise in gas prices, the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan not having adhered to Western sanctions implemented against Russia in the context of the war in Ukraine. The country will be supplied in the desired quantity and should not encounter any problems in the coming months.

Therefore, as pointed out Handelsblatt, Turkish hoteliers can offer unbeatable prices to foreign tourists. According to Deniz Ugurn, head of the Swiss tour operator Bentour, quoted by the daily, a million Germans could come to Turkey this winter, about twice as many as usual. He thus invites certain hoteliers to reconsider their decision to close this winter.

Will this “energy tourism” become a fundamental trend? In addition to the cynicism of the approach, it should actually address only a small part of households. Because, between bills to pay, reimbursements to honor and children to take to school, many will go their way.

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