Eid holiday heats up Turkey’s decelerating tourism sector

Eid holiday heats up Turkey’s decelerating tourism sector

ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
Eid holiday heats up Turkey’s decelerating tourism sector

AA photo

After a slow season, Turkey’s tourism sector has recently accelerated, with hotel occupancy rates as high as 90 percent during the Eid al-Ahda (Feast of Sacrifice) holiday. 

During the holiday, over 350,000 local tourists visited the country’s coastline, said Turkey’s Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) Osman Ayık. 

With the postponement of primary and secondary schools by two weeks and the declaration of a nine-day public holiday starting on Sept. 19, with a half-day for public employees on Sept. 23, the sector saw a sharp rise in the number of local tourists, according to tourism players. 

“Many local people from all social and economic groups enjoyed their holiday, enabling our sector to rebound despite a huge decrease in the number of Russian tourists. Around 350,000 local tourists visited and stayed in coastline hotels during the Eid holiday,” said Ayık. 

He noted that problems with the Russian market still continue and reservations for the winter months from Russia are not better-than-expected. 

“It is early to say anything for 2016, but we have some concerns we should accept. The recent moves to postpone the start of the school year and the announcement of a nine-day holiday for public workers really made a big contribution to the sector…We want the new government to take steps to allow local people to take longer vacations,” said Ayık. 

The hotel occupancy rates reached over 90 percent on the Mediterranean coast of Antalya, said the head of the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB), Yusuf Hacısüleyman. 

“Around 250,000 local tourists visited the Antalya region during the Eid holiday,” he added. 

Around 13 million Turks travelled by bus, train or air to their hometowns to spend time with their families or for an extended summer vacation on the coastlines during the holiday, according to several reports.