‘Backyard of Istanbul’ draws attention during pandemic
Boutique hotels and detached villas in the northwestern province of Sakarya’s Sapanca district, which is also called the “Backyard of Istanbul” and one of the great centers of tourist attractions, are going full with people making reservations, especially for the weekends amid the ongoing pandemic.
Known for its lush green surroundings and its freshwater lake, the Sapanca district has become one of the preferred choices of tourists, especially from metropolitan cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Kocaeli and Bursa.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Sapanca Tourism Association head Berrin Yılmazer said that tourism was one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic.
Stating that in Sapanca, which is one of the most important tourism destinations of the region, big hotels have been suffering the most, Yılmazer said: “But our detached houses are still full though only on weekends. Guests come on Fridays and check out on Mondays. We have a 95 percent occupancy rate in Sapanca.”
Stating that local tourists come here to spend the weekend curfews in Sapanca, Yılmazer said: “They prefer to spend their weekends in Sapanca. Even if they cannot go to the lake due to restriction, they can spend their days in the green environment because most of the accommodation sites and houses are surrounded by nature.”
She also added that guests who choose to stay on the weekdays could indulge in activities such as ATV, horse riding, boat rides on the lake, and go for nature walks.
Gamze Gezgin, a boutique hotel manager, said the Sapanca region has been high in demand by the people looking for spending secluded holidays amid the pandemic phase.
Stating that they are in demand as there are detached villas in their facilities, Gezgin said, “Our guests prefer the facilities here, which is at a short distance from Istanbul, Ankara, Kocaeli and other nearby cities, to spend time with their families because of beautiful natural environments.”
Noting that there is also a high demand for the facilities for the upcoming New Year’s Eve, Gezgin said: “Villa-style accommodation is mostly preferred by families. Besides, noisy activities are not organized in order not to disturb the detached houses. Since there are no collective gatherings, families can spend time on their own.”