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Thursday, April 3, 2008

The rising interest in four-wheeled holiday pleasure in Turkey: motorhome tourists rule!

Motorhome tourists get haircuts at the local barber, shop at local markets and buy more souvenirs from the places they go to see: "They never want to stay in just one place, and unlike the tourists taking advantage of the cheap ‘everything included’ system we see in many of our hotels, they don’t only stay a short time and then return to their countries,” Bulent Karaboncuk, the head of the Turkey Camping and Motor Home Association, said in ‘Four-wheeled holiday pleasure around Turkey’s hidden treasures’ in Sunday’s Zaman. Karaboncuk is campaigning to convince his compatriots to develop motorhome tourism in Turkey, a country that so far only has 20 campsites, by promoting the benefits to the local community: “People who come to tour a country with their motor homes tend to stay longer than other kinds of tourists and tend to mix more with the people of the country they are visiting,” he says. Karaboncuk is also trying to persuade Turks to buy a motorhome rather than a summer house in a coastal development, a growing trend among Turks as much as foreigners: “A holiday in a motor home is actually a way of life. European citizens actually spend their entire holiday in their motor homes… in the summer, the roads are full of motor homes.” However, Karaboncuk says, he’s meeting some resistance: “Unfortunately… we seem to be blind to the importance of this kind of tourism and have set up all sorts of blockades to it.” Onur Onurmen of Can Karavan is resorting to the promotion of creature comforts to increase motorhome sales: “Mobile homes offer the possibility of unlimited comforts in a smaller environment… we are seeing things like plasma televisions and satellite systems in motor homes these days,” Like the rest of the world, it seems in Turkey the comforts of home are important to people, no matter where they are.

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