Stronger than expected foreign visits this year are boosting hopes of hoteliers in Antalya, Turkey’s major holiday destination for both domestic and international travelers, for the tourist season next year.
After hosting 3.5 million foreign holidaymakers last year, Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, has already welcomed 8.5 million international tourists between January and October.
“Those are very encouraging figures. I am expecting the number of foreign tourist visits to Antalya to exceed 9 million by the end of the year. Early bookings for 2021 have already began. Next year will be much better,” said Ülkay Atmaca, the head of the Professional Hotel Managers’ Association (POYD).
The positive impact of the U.K. government’s decision to remove travel restrictions has been felt over the past weeks, Atmaca added. “Foreign tourists kept coming in even in the last days of October. We are expecting this strong foreign tourist activity to continue well into November and December. We are likely to have a better winter tourist season than it was last year.”
He noted that hoteliers in the tourism hotspot will continue their efforts in 2022 to attract more visitors and generate more revenues.
“We carried out a very good publicity campaign to promote Antalya thanks to measures we took to provide safe tourism. Those efforts will be reflected in the tourist statistics,” Atmaca added.
Tourism activity in the province started to pick up from July,said Erkan Yağcı, the head of the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers and Investors’ Association (AKTOB).
He also noted that bookings for Turkey holidays in the U.K. has already started, and it may become clearer how the new tourism season in 2022 will look like in December.
“I may say that as more people get vaccinated and tourism activity revives in the countries that send more tourists to Turkey, 2022 will be brighter year,” Yağcı said.