“On weekends around 12,000 visitors from those countries come to Edirne, while on weekdays it is around 6,000 to 7,000,” said Recep Zıpkınkurt, the head of the Edirne Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
Those visitors from Bulgaria and Greece on average spend 500 euros.
“This is a significant contribution to the local economy and Turkey’s economy as a whole,” he said.
Special tours with buses are being organized for Bulgarian and Greek shoppers, who want to take advantage of the exchange rates.
“They are buying everything they need, even construction materials. Bulgarians buy food products, such as cheese and meat, while Greeks mostly purchase clothing and other items,” Zıpkınkurt said.
He added that local businesses should not exploit the situation and should not treat Turkish and foreign shoppers differently.
“They should sell the same product to local and foreign customers at the same price…otherwise we will lose those shoppers to other provinces,” Zıpkınkurt warned.
Some visitors also come to Edirne to spend a couple of days in the province, according to Zıpkınkurt.
“It is almost impossible to find vacant rooms at the hotels on the weekends. Including accommodation and shopping, visitors from Bulgaria and Greece on average spend 500 euros,” he said.
Emine Aşçı is one of those who traveled from Bulgaria to Edirne.
“We will do a lot of shopping here…will buy everything from food to clothing,” she said.
Elvan Atilla, another shopper from Bulgaria, said goods are cheaper and of higher quality in Edirne.
“We came to Edirne for both shopping and visiting. We will buy what we need…fruits and vegetables, too.”
Hurriyet Daily News