8 mln foreign tourists ‘expected to visit Antalya in 2017’
ANTALYAAround 7.5 to 8 million foreign tourists are expected to visit the Mediterranean province of Antalya over this year, following a daunting year for Turkey, a leading tourism player has said.
The number of foreigners visiting Turkey, mainly Istanbul and Antalya, declined to 25.3 million in 2016, a 30 percent drop compared to 2015, after a series of bomb attacks, a diplomatic crisis with Russia, and the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Professional Hoteliers Association (POYD) President Hakan Duran said the Russian market has started presenting attraction to Turkey again, as early bookings from them were growing in high numbers.
“We expect around 7.5 to 8 million foreign tourists to visit Antalya this year, which will represent a 30 percent increase compared to 2016,” he said, as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency.
Half of Russia’s holidaymakers have chosen Turkey as their top travel destination in 2017, a recent report released by the Association of Tour Operators in Russia (ATOR) stated, citing estimates from the country’s tour operators and agencies.
“We have expected around 2 to 2.5 million Russian tourists to visit Antalya this year. If an average of 2.5 million Russians visited Antalya this year, we can close 2017 with around 7.5 to 8 million foreign arrivals, even in the scenario of some 1 million losses from the European market,” said Duran.
He added that there was a strong recovery in the U.K. market, as many Brits wanted to visit Antalya, however the same trend could not be seen for many other European markets, including Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Duran also noted that around 650,000 to 700,000 Israeli tourists were expected to visit Antalya this year.