Millions hit the roads as 10-day Eid holiday starts
ISTANBULMillions of people across Turkey have started to hit the roads during a 10-day public holiday for the Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) and Victory Day, which starts late on Aug. 25 and ends on Sept. 3.
In many tourism resorts, hotel occupancy rates have hit 100 percent.
Airline and bus companies scheduled new trips to manage the high passenger traffic on Aug. 25. Car queues created traffic jams on the intercity roads into tourism resorts. Euro Turks also flocked to the Turkish border gates, creating kilometer-long queues.
Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Ekşi said 1,545 flights would be made by the company on Aug. 25 to carry nearly 250,000 people.
The company had announced earlier that a total of 196 extra flights were scheduled for the long holiday, adding that the country’s leading local tourism destinations had the largest demand, including Bodrum, Dalaman and Antalya.
Among international destinations, Barcelona, Rome, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Milan, Venice, London, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Phuket took the biggest hit.
The head of Pegasus Airlines, Mehmet Nane, said the company’s occupancy rates hit 100 percent in trunk routes.
“We have arranged a total of 224 extra flights. The most popular destinations for the upcoming holiday are Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Cyprus,” he added.
Onur Air announced that nearly 100,000 passengers would be carried during the 10-day holiday.
Turkey’s tourism sector is quite pleased with the extension of the public holiday to 10 days, during which more than one million people travel and create 1 billion Turkish Liras in additional revenue for the sector.
Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) President Osman Ayık said nearly half a million people were expected to flock to the country’s resorts during the extended holiday.
Others are expected to visit their families in their hometowns.
“In some destinations, mainly in the Mediterranean coastline, hotel occupancy rates have already hit 100 percent,” said Ayık on Aug. 25, adding that this trend was expected to continue after the Eid holiday ends.
“This is the last long holiday opportunity for millions of people before the end of summer. In addition to a boom in local tourism, we have also seen a strong recovery in foreign arrivals. This is great for us, incomparable to what we saw in 2016,” he added.
“Nearly one million people will travel throughout the country and that will enable us to earn 1 billion liras. The extension of the holiday will bring about a rebound in the sector’s revenue, further fueling the Turkish economy,” TÜROFED Vice President and Aegean Touristic Hoteliers Association (ETİK) head Mehmet İşler told Doğan News Agency.