Ferry services between Ayvalık, Lesbos Island resume

Ferry services between Ayvalık, Lesbos Island resume

Ferry services between Ayvalık, Lesbos Island resume

Ferry services between the Turkish province of Ayvalık in the province of Balıkesir and Greece’s Lesbos Island have resumed after two years.

Ferry services were suspended in early March 2020 as part of the measures against the coronavirus pandemic. This week, the first group of 35 Turkish travelers took the boat to visit the Greek island. Visitors from the Greek side are expected to arrive in Ayvalık today.

When ferry services were running before the pandemic broke out, Ayvalık would receive some 1,000 travelers each week, which made a large contribution to the local economy.

Ali Jale, an official of a company that operates ferry tours between the Turkish district and the Lesbos Island, said he was optimistic that tourist flows would be as strong as they were in 2019.

Turkey welcomed a record number of foreign visitors in 2019.

With the COVID-19-related travel restrictions eased, more and more ferry services between Turkey and Greece have resumed over the past weeks.

At the start of April, ferry services between the Turkish tourist hotspot Kuşadası and Samos Island were launched once again following a two-year hiatus.

Also, services have been resumed between Bodrum and Kos Island.

In 2019, when Turkey hosted more than 45 million foreign tourists, nearly 840,000 Greeks visited Turkey. However, tourist arrivals from Greece declined to 136,000 in 2020 but recovered to 158,000 last year.