Eid al-Adha holiday to revive domestic tourism

Eid al-Adha holiday to revive domestic tourism

Eid al-Adha holiday to revive domestic tourism

People are expected to hit the roads to spend the Eid al-Adha holiday this week in popular destinations along the coasts of the Aegean and Mediterranean.

The Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday starts on July 9 and will end on July 12, but the holiday period has been extended to nine days to cover July 13-14, giving people an opportunity to divide the holiday between family visits and vacation.

“We are expecting 3 million people, including 1 million who bought package tours, to travel during the Eid al-Adha holiday. The most popular destinations are Bodrum, Kuşadası, Fethiye and Marmaris on the Aegean coast, while people will also travel to Kemer, Alanya and Belek in the Mediterranean region,” said Firuz Bağlıkaya, chair of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB).

He also noted there is strong demand for destinations such as Assos, Sapanca and Ayvalık due to their proximity to Istanbul, while the Eastern Black Sea region is attracting visitors with cultural tours.

The nine-day holiday will help boost the tourism industry, which suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, said Mete Vardar from Jolly Tur, adding that the number of domestic holidaymakers increased by 25 percent from the Eid al-Adha break last year.

“People first plan to visit their relatives and then hit the roads for holidaying in the remaining days. Tourism activity will increase in every corner of the country,” Vardar said.

The Aegean region is still the favorite destination among domestic holidaymakers, according to Burak Tombul, chairman of the executive board at Touristica.

Probably, fewer Turks will travel abroad during the Eid al-Adha holiday because of problems getting a visa and the depreciation of the Turkish Lira, said Barış Öztürk from Travel Zone.

Demand for a holiday in foreign countries had been on the rise, but the difficulties Turkish citizens experience at consulates to obtain visas impacted the demand, he added.

“If we had not had this issue with visas, the number of Turks traveling abroad could have reached the 2019 level,” Öztürk said.

The most favorite foreign destination for Turkish holidaymakers is Europe, with Italy, France and Spain topping the list. Turks also travel to the Balkan countries, Egypt, Morocco and the Latin American counties. However, surprisingly, demand for Greece is weak this year, people from the industry said.