KARABÜK - Anatolia News Agency
Safranbolu is famous for its unique houses, but the northern Turkish town is seeking to offer new tourism alternatives. A five-star hotel currently under construction in the town will revive congress tourism in the area, according to the governor. The hotel is said to be finished soon
When the construction is finished, the five-star hotel (inset) will revive the congress tourism in Safranbolu, which is
known as a domestic tourist attraction for its unique historical houses and is on the UNESCO world heritage list. AA Photo
Tne of western Turkey’s most famous tourist areas is seeking to put itself on the map as a regional center for congresses, according to local authorities.
“[Safranbolu] is advantageous for congress tourism. It is close to historical and touristic cities,” Karabük Gov. İzzettin Küçük. “The opening of the hotel is important for the future of the town. It will get its first five-star hotel and be revived economically and socially.”
The Grand Hotel Safran, which will be constructed by a businessman from Safranbolu, the touristic heart of the northwestern province of Karabük, will have a 120-bed capacity and offer accommodation for 250 people. “The hotel construction will be finished within a short time and serve tourism,” the governor said.
“One of our friends from Safranbolu started the construction of the hotel but he died. We have taken over the construction,” said businessman Şefik Dizdar. “We believe that it will serve tourism in the town.”
More importantly for the future tourism plans of Safranbolu, the hotel will boast a 500-person capacity congress hall. Ultimately, authorities said they wanted to develop congress tourism as an alternative to the present tourism opportunities in the region, which encompasses Safranbolu and the western Black Sea
region. A world heritage site
Küçük said Safranbolu, which is a world heritage site, possessed a wealth of cultural riches and that they should develop congress tourism in the town to draw even more visitors.
“This is why the number of alternative tourism opportunities should be increased,” he said.
Many events planned for the town had been cancelled because of space problems, adding, that the hotel would solve latent accommodation problems while opening the town up to congress tourism.
“Our town has a history of 3,000 years. As it succeeded in keeping this rich history alive for many years, it has the title of ‘the capital of protection.’ It was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1994 and recognized as one of the 20 best-protected cities in the word. This is why the town welcomes some 600,000 tourists, 250,000 of whom are accommodated tourists, every year. It has reached its goals in this field and now it should increase the variety of its tourism alternatives.
Businessmen who have seen this green light in the town have decided to construct a five-star hotel,” Küçük said.
Safranbolu has long been a favorite destination for thousands of domestic tourists, who flock to the northern town to visit its famous whitewashed Ottoman-era houses, buy metalwork from local craftsmen or sample one of its most famous local delicacies, halvah.