Bursa sets eyes on Saudi Arabian tourists
BURSA – İhlas News Agency
The northeastern Turkish province of Bursa, already a popular destination for Arab tourists, aims higher following Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that the travel ban on Turkey due to the coronavirus had been lifted.
Tradesmen in various sectors hope that the Saudi Arabian visitors, who will start arriving in July to join the thousands of tourists from Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai already visiting the city, will reinvigorate the local economy.
“Following the lifting of the travel ban, reservations have started, and occupancy rates are currently quite high. We expect 2022 to be a productive season for tourism. We are taking concrete steps in this regard,” said Murat Saraçoğlu, a senior official in the Association of Turkey Travel Agents (TÜRSAB).
He added that Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that send the most tourists due to its position as the country with the largest population in the Middle East.
Emphasizing that tourists do not find it attractive to see the same mountain or waterfall again and to travel the same route, Saraçoğlu said, “We, as tourism professionals, have determined new routes together with public organizations. We also provide travel agencies with information about these routes.
As of this period, we started to promote the rafting in Orhaneli district. We also organize tours in the floodplain forests.”
“In addition to shopping for dresses, shoes and gold, the Arab tourists also want to taste the flavors of Bursa. As the Turkish Lira weakens against foreign currency, Turkey started to be preferred more,” Saraçoğlu said, adding that every tourist adds great value to the economy.
Wealthy Arab tourists generally prefer the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, while those who come as a family prefer Bursa, Yalova and the Black Sea region, Saraçoğlu said.
“Many of the tourists rent or buy houses,” he said. “However, for us tourism professionals, it is better for visitors to stay in hotels.”