Iranians, Israelis rush to Antalya
Antalya has lured 1.32 million tourists in the first four months, while Israeli and Iranian visitors led the increase. DHA Photo
The first four months of the year saw a rise in Iranian and Israeli tourists to Turkey’s southern holiday mecca of Antalya.
According to a report released in May by the Antalya Touristic Hotels and Businesses Union, the number of Iranian tourists who visited Antalya skyrocketed by 464 percent between January and April, while visitors from Israel soared by 146 percent.
The number of Iranian visitors surpassed 53,000, whereas the number of Israelis visiting Antalya was more than 39,000.
The rise in Iranian and Israeli visitors outstripped some of the top Antalya-loving countries during the period, in which the overall number of foreign visitors rose 5.1 percent to 1.32 million.
During the same period, the number of German tourists dropped by 4.4 percent to 466,816 visitors. Another major market, Russia, continued to grow with a 17.9 percent rise to over 210,000 visitors.
Antalya also managed to expand in attracting tourists from the Netherlands and Britain, which sent around 4 percent more tourists to the southern Turkish province.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year over the Mavi Marmara incident gave a boost to Turkey’s allure for Israeli holiday markets.