Turkiye’s Mardin sets goal to host over 800,000 tourists this fall

Known for its rich history and cultural heritage, the east Anatolian city of Mardin has set its sights on becoming a top tourist destination this year, with ambitious plans to welcome over 800,000 tourists by autumn.

Mardin boasts a treasure trove of tourist attractions that draw both local and international visitors. Its historical sites, potential for faith-based tourism and unique culinary experiences have made it a must-visit destination. Among the city’s historical and cultural gems, one can find the ancient city of Dara, the Mardin Museum, the Kasımiye Madrassa and the iconic Deyrulzafaran Monastery,all of which annually host thousands of tourists.

In recent months, Mardin has seen a surge in reservations, particularly during the autumn season. The city, with a substantial bed capacity of approximately 17,000, had its fair share of setbacks earlier this year when numerous tours were canceled due to the Feb. 6 earthquakes.

Özgür Gürgör, president of the Mardin Tourism and Hoteliers Association (MARTOD), shared his optimism for the upcoming tourist season: “Last year was an incredible season, with more than 2 million guests flocking to our city daily,” he said.

Gürgör revealed that their initial goal was to host a million tourists during the spring season. However, reservations between February and May took a hit due to the earthquakes. Still, he believes that the autumn season will serve as a much-needed revival for Mardin’s tourism industry.

Gürgör emphasized on the city’s unique appeal, stating: “According to surveys, seven out of 10 people express a desire to visit Mardin. We stand out as a province that offers both faith-based and cultural tourism experiences. Demand for the months of September, October, November and December is expected to double.”

Highlighting the rapid growth in tourism investments, Gürgör mentioned the registration of the city’s fifth five-star hotel and expanded targets on the horizon.

Ismail Sincar, an official from a local tourism and travel agency, noted the city’s bustling visitor interest in the first half of the year, especially during holidays. He added that Mardin remains a popular choice even during Qurban Bayram, or Eid al-Adha, with visitor numbers remaining high despite scorching summer temperatures.

Sincar raved about Mardin’s appeal throughout the year, saying: “Planes arrive at full capacity, and our hotels operate at peak performance during the busy season. Mardin exudes a unique charm every season. Even in the heat, Mardin is a city worth exploring, with cultural tourism drawing significant interest, especially among foreign tourists. Those seeking respite from summer crowds find solace in Mardin during this period. It’s truly a magnificent city in the spring.”

Local products have also garnered substantial interest from guests, according to Akdoğan, who encouraged everyone to visit Mardin. Meanwhile, Priest Gabriel Akkurt, who tends to Deyrulzafaran Monastery, highlighted the monastery’s active role as a place of worship and its popularity among visitors during the spring months.


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