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Tourism company to promote Turkish home of Santa Claus

ANTALYA - Anatolia News Agency | 5/2/2010 12:00:00 AM |

A Turkish tourism firm will promote the Mediterranean home of Santa Claus to U.S. tourists, including promoting the area as a location for destination weddings.

A Turkish tourism company will promote the Mediterranean home of St. Nicholas, better known as Santa Claus, to tourists in the United States, including promoting the area as a location for destination weddings.

Gülseren Özdemir, the general director of the Wedding City Antalya Company, said the firm has been organizing wedding ceremonies for foreigners at the Santa Claus Museum in Demre, a town in the province of Antalya.

The company will organize weddings for at least 25 couples within the scope of the 2nd International Santa Claus Wedding Festival this year, Özdemir said, noting that couples from the United States will get married there in ceremonies that incorporate Turkish traditions.

The 2nd International Santa Claus Wedding Festival will take place between Dec. 1 and 7.

Wedding City Antalya has been working with Elite Turkey Tour, which operates in the U.S. wedding-tourism sector, Özdemir said.

Hulya Aydoğan, owner of Elite Turkey Tour, said not many people in the United States know that Santa Claus lived in Anatolia, but added that U.S. tourists are willing to spend money to experience different cultures.

“If we get more support from Turkey, we can continue Santa Claus promotion under UNESCO,” she said. “We will send tourists from the U.S. to Turkey for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.”

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