Published 13 Sep,2020 via Hürriyet Daily News - Nearly 2 million foreign tourists have visited Antalya, one of Turkey’s major holiday destinations on the Mediterranean coast, since the start of the year.
Hotels are welcoming their guests under the “safe tourism certification program,” coordinated by the country’s Tourism Ministry, which was launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure holidaymakers’ safe stay during their vacation in Turkey.
Tourism activity in the province picked up particularly starting July and gained further momentum in August and September.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Antalya between Jan. 1 and Sept. 10 reached 1.9 million, with Russians topping the list of international holidaymakers, followed by Ukrainians and Germans.
“Turkey stood out from other countries with its certificate program and heathy tourism campaign,” said Cem Kınay, from the board of the Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency.
The “healthy tourism” was the key factor to resuming the traffic between Turkey and Russia, Germany and the U.K, Kınay added, noting that Polish holidaymakers are also showing strong interest in vacationing in Antalya.
“Out hotels were ready, and they were working hard to comply with the requirements of the certificate program. The current activity in tourism will continue in the coming months well into November and December,” he said.
Kınay added that Antalya will be favored more this winter by football and golf teams as well.
He also said that more than 10 million foreigners had already visited Turkey and that he expected foreign tourist arrivals to reach 15 million this year.
Turkey hosted 5.4 million foreign visitors in the first seven months of 2020, down 78 percent from the same period of the previous year, according to the latest official data.
In 2019, more than 45 million foreigners entered the country, up from nearly 39.5 million in 2018.
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