Antalya emerges as favourite tourist destination in Turkey

Antalya, a city in the southern part of Turkey, is emerging as the sought after tourist destination, with foreign tourists surging from all around the world.

As per records revealed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey has hosted 27 million foreign visitors in total from January to August this year. Meanwhile the total number of foreigners visited Antalya alone is 11.4 million, constituting 42.2 per cent of the total tourist arrival in the country during the period and it is 28 per cent more than that of last year.

Mostly tourists prefer Antalya for its sunny beaches to enjoy the vacations. However, Turkish tourism organizations try to diversify the city’s tourism products to attract more visitors.

“We are now focusing more on congress tourism, sports tourism and age tourism to sustain the increase that we have captured during the summer months, said ” Firuz Baglikaya, Chairman of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB).

Age tourism, is a new concept of targeting the elderly and organize special tour programmes suitable for their tastes and preference.

Sport tourism is already popular in Turkey. During the period 2017-2018, the total revenue earned from sports tourism hit USD 800 million, which was 30 per cent more than the previous year.

“Due to the warm climate in Antalya, lots of soccer clubs have been finding it a suitable place for training camps,” said Bglikaya.

The country is expecting to have around 1,500 soccer players in the upcoming 2018-2019 winter season, between November and April, mostly from the southern European countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“There is a false notion among the Asian tourists that Antalya is not suitable for cultural tourism.  However, Atnalya is a birthplace of many civilizations, including the Anatolian Seljuks, Roman and Ottoman empires,” said Nezih Hacialioglu a board member of TURSAB

from Anatolian Cultural Tour Programme

In order to overcome this, a traditional Anatolian cultural tour programme has been organized by the tourism authorities. The event is for 15 days, but Hacialioglu says it should be extended to woo more cultural tour enthusiasts to the country.

“We can also create more thematic tours that would meet the appetite of tourists who prefer cultural tourism,” he added.