ISTANBUL: Turkey’s resort towns saw a 100 percent occupancy rate with the Eid al-Adha holiday, including the southern province of Antalya and Aegean province of Muğla, the top two favorite destinations of both domestic and foreign tourists.
“We had a great Eid al-Adha holiday as a country. We projected 5.5 million citizens to travel to their hometowns and 4.5 million citizens to flock to resort towns,” Ülkay Atmaca, the president of Professional Hoteliers Association, told Anadolu Agency.
“About 10 million people travelled during the holiday season. There was especially intensity in the Mediterranean and Aegean (provinces),” Atmaca added.
On a daily basis, about 100,000 people travelled to Muğla’s Ula district, which has a population of 4,000.
“We have hosted guests 25 times more than our population. It was a fruitful Eid al-Adha,” said İsmail Akkaya, the mayor of Ula.
Daily excursion boats also saw a 100 percent occupancy rate in Ula.
While many domestic tourists preferred to have their vacations at Muğla, Marmaris and Fethiye, the resort towns of Bodrum, others were drawn to Antalya with its golden beaches and turquoise-hued waters.
In Marmaris, too, daily excursion boats were full. “About 20,000 vacationers enjoyed a blue voyage, on a daily basis, in each day of the [Eid al-Adha] holiday,” said Halil Bağlı, the chairperson of the Marmaris branch of Chamber of Shipping.
About 5,000 vacationers each day travelled to the coves of Marmaris on gulets, Bağlı added.
In Antalya, especially the Kaputaj Beach in Kaş, Phaselis Cove in Kemer and the King’s Cove in Gazipaşa attracted the attention of visitors.
The Cleopatra Beach in Alanya was also a frequent destination of tourists. Cleopatra Beach is among the 10 most beautiful beaches of Turkey. Throughout centuries it was said that the fine and non-sticking sand of the beach was brought from the North African coast upon Cleopatra’s command.
In the five-day-long holiday, roughly 600,000 foreign and 100,000 domestic tourists came to Antalya, said Erkan Yağcı, the head of Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers and Investors Association. He also added that 100 percent occupancy rate was seen in Antalya’s hotels.
“There was a tourism volume of 700,000 [people],” he said.
The sector’s expectations have been met with the number of tourists arriving in resort towns for vacation, said Osman Ayık, the chairman of Turkey’s Hoteliers Federation, adding that the sector’s expectations have been met with the number of tourists.
“There was intensity in all regions of Turkey. Many people travelled during Eid al-Adha. It was also a period in which the volume of foreign tourists was dense in coastal regions,” Ayık said.