easyJet aims to carry 1 mln tourists to Turkey

easyJet aims to carry 1 mln tourists to Turkey

easyJet aims to carry 1 mln tourists to Turkey

British travel company easyJet Holidays is aiming to bring about 1 million tourists to Turkey this summer, its CEO has said.

“easyJet offers 18 routes between the United Kingdom and Turkey. As the travel restrictions are lifted, we are hoping to fly to the country with 1 million seats. Turkey has been one of the best-selling destinations during the pandemic,” said Garry Wilson.

The British government will release its plans to lift travel bans gradually starting from mid-May on April 12.

“We know that 65 percent of consumers in the U.K. want to actively travel in 2021,” said Wilson, underlining his belief that low-cost airline easyJet and travel firm easyJet Holiday will gain positive results this summer compared to last year, when the coronavirus pandemic brought down international flights nearly 70 percent globally.

Bookings have soared about 630 percent in the last two weeks after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his plans to allow international flights, he added.

Turkish resort towns have been one of the most important markets for easyJet Holidays since it was established in 2019, Wilson said, adding that, “We are offering a fantastic range of more than 250 hotels in Dalaman, Antalya, İzmir and Bodrum this summer. All-inclusive system proves that it is the favorite of U.K. customers booking holidays in Turkey.”

Dalaman, an airport town in the southwestern province of Muğla, is especially popular among British families planning 14-night holidays, according to Wilson’s remarks.

The Mediterranean province of Antalya, the heartland of the Turkish tourism industry, is generally preferred for its luxury hotels offering all-inclusive packages.

Resort town of Bodrum in Muğla and destinations in the Aegean province of İzmir are usually chosen by young couples and friend groups.

After strict lockdowns and travel restrictions in the first months of the pandemic last year, Turkey launched a Safe Tourism Certification Program in June 2020. As part of the program, hundreds of hotels, restaurants, museums, travel agencies and other hospitality sector firms have been certified to be inspected regularly.

The program’s scope has been extended since then, said Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Nadir Alpaslan on March 17, adding that the aim of the program is to provide zero-risk atmosphere for tourists with strict health and hygiene measures.

“In 2021, we are expecting to host 34 million foreign visitors in our country with a rise of 100 percent from last year,” he said.

Turkey’s tourism total revenue is expected to reach $23 billion this year, up from $12.5 billion in 2020, he added.

Turkey hosted a record number of foreign visitors - 45 million tourists and 7 million Turks residing abroad - in 2019, when the country earned nearly $35 billion in tourism revenues.

In the new tourism season, which will start next month, Turkey expects strong demand from Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Britain and the Netherlands, said Alpaslan.