The Turkish Mediterranean tourism hub of Antalya enjoyed an 11.2 percent increase in the number of tourists between January and May, hosting 2.66 million people.
This is the highest number of visitors Antalya has seen for the January-May period in the past decade, data from the Mediterranean Tourism Hoteliers Union (AKTOB) revealed on Wednesday. The union said the country from which most visitors came to Antalya in the first five months of this year was Germany, with 825,000. It was followed by Russia with 688,000, an encouraging 25 percent rise over a year ago. With the exceptions of France, Poland, Austria and Iran, Antalya experienced a rise in the number of visitors from all major markets between January and May.
Antlaya is the driver of the country’s tourism growth and the current interest in the city syncs with Turkish plans to boost foreign visitors this year. Turkey attracted more than 37.7 million visitors in 2012, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which says the country is among the top 10 most popular tourist destinations in the world. Over 5.2 million visitors have arrived already this year, a nearly 14 percent increase over the same period in 2012, it says.
Meanwhile, amid anti-government demonstrations which turned violent in major cities, Antalya appears to maintain its appeal. Tourists from all around the world flock to revel Antalya’s modern Mediterranean beach resorts, classical Greek and Roman monuments in and around the city, along with the nearby lunar volcanic landscapes of Cappadocia. Osman Ayık, head of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation, said on Tuesday that the situation in Antalya on Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast is “calm.” “Tourists haven’t been disturbed by the action of our citizens. However, if the incidents grow and unwanted developments occur, then we might see cancelations on our coastal resorts, too,” he was quoted as saying.