Resort Realities: Not Quite a Turkish Delight…

Resort Realities: Not Quite a Turkish Delight…

14 May 14, 2018

urgently need a holiday. I choose the first cheap holiday and
last-minute deal that I come across on a specialist online travel
agency. A few clicks later, the trip is organised, scheduled to
depart the following Monday. An all-inclusive resort, everything is
planned; there is nothing more to think about.

21 May 21, 2018

Welcome to the province of Antalya, southern Turkey, the most
touristy region in the country. The landscape? Hundreds of resorts,
one after another, along the Mediterranean coast. And the expanse
is growing every year. My hotel was built in 2015, the one next
door, just a few metres away, dates from 2017.

First days and first disappointments. When travel agencies
promise luxury holidays in fabulous five-star hotels, the reality
is not always up to scratch. Cardboard décor, low-quality products,
limited amenities and exorbitant extras, hotels exaggerate
appearances but provide the bare minimum. The idea is clearly to
attract as many people as possible with ridiculously low prices –
which are then justified.

In terms of culture, the region is home to some ancient sites.
All day long, local buses go around the hotels to transport convoys
of holidaymakers to these historical landmarks, or into town. Once
in town, the only locals are shopkeepers, catering to the hordes of
tourists recognisable by plastic bracelets signifying their
membership to a particular hotel. The only way to access the
cultural points of interest is to fight through a deluge of
souvenir shops, selling mainly counterfeits and some rare local
products, which can obviously be paid for in euros. Only two small
towns are accessible by bus, so for any other trips the only option
is to choose one of the excursions sold by the agency.

Of course, we could stay inside the resort all week, and we are
encouraged to do so. Everything is there for our amusement:
entertainment, shows and an unlimited 24-hour bar. Another hobby I
developed in Turkey is dodging hotel employees who spend their days
selling spa treatments, city parties or photographs with a

My final observation is that at the time of collective global
awakening on sustainable development, the notion seems to have
escaped a great deal of the European population. Faced with the
abundance of the buffet lunch and dinner, many tourists do not
hesitate to abuse this luxury, some even throwing food away with an
attitude of total indifference. Holidaymakers come here for peace
of mind, meaning that ideas of ecology and heritage preservation
are an uncomfortable itch.

28 May, 2018

Back in Paris.
I did not visit the real Turkey. But fortunately, I was able to buy
postcards at the hotel gift shop as proof.

@marinetoux |

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