Pamukkale most visited site this year
DENİZLİ – Anadolu Agency
Pamukkale, which attracted a total of 2.18 million visitors in the first 11 months of this year, is the most visited tourist site in Turkey, followed by Ephesus and Göreme Open Air Museum. AA PhotoThe travertine falls of Pamukkale, together with the adjacent ancient city of Hierapolis, drew the most visitors in Turkey this year, the Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TÜRSAB) has said, pointing to the site’s international promotional work, experienced staff and modern entrance systems as a reason for the success.
TÜRSAB President Başaran Ulusoy said Pamukkale, located in the western province of Denizli, was a good model for public-private sector cooperation and TÜRSAB’s experience in the fields of customer satisfaction, restaurant management and ticketing helped them achieve successful results.
“In the first 11 months of this year a total of 2.18 million people visited Pamukkale, and the number of visitors in November was 73,306. This represents a 12 percent increase compared to last year. The total revenue from Pamukkale-Hierapolis was more than 38 million Turkish Liras in 2014, so Pamukkale ranks first in terms of both number of visitors and revenue. It is followed by the ancient city of Ephesus near Izmir and the Göreme Open Air Museum in the Cappadocia region,” Ulusoy said.
The TÜRSAB Museum Initiative has been operating 154 museums and ancient sites for the past three years, with the Pamukkale-Hierapolis site chief among them.
Ulusoy said the area particularly drew visitors from Russia, Japan, the European Union and Korea. “Recently, we have seen an increase in the number of visitors from Malaysia, Indonesia and India,” he added.
Ulusoy also stated that ongoing excavations had enriched the cultural heritage of the Hierapolis site and more visitors were coming to the area thanks to effective national and international promotional campaigns.
'Overnight tourists should be targeted'
The province of Denizli is home to 19 ancient cities, and should be recognized as one of Turkey's ancient pearls of tourism, according to the TÜRSAB boss, adding that longer term stays would help the development of the tourism infrastructure.
“For this purpose, we have contributed to the excavations in the ancient city of Hierapolis, and support the work done in Laodicea. We need to get tourists to visit these ancient sites and enable them to make longer-term commitments. Alternatives should be diversified with new restaurants and hotels,” he said.
He also noted that the project titled “The World’s Largest Museum: Turkey,” which was initiated by the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s Revolving Capital Administration (DÖSİMM) and promotes Turkey’s most important ancient sites, including Pamukkale, was very important for them.