Over 130,000 Ukrainians visit Antalya
There are no direct flights from Ukraine since its air space has been closed due to the Russian invasion. Most of those Ukrainians, who vacationed in Türkiye, traveled from German and Poland, where they started to live there after the conflict broke out.
Over 5 million Ukrainians have migrated to several countries, including Poland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Moldovia and Slovakia, recalled Recep Yavuz from the Tourism Working Group at the Antalya City Council.
Thousands of Ukrainians traveled by cars to Antalya to settle in the city, he added.
When the war broke out, people from the local tourism industry were worried that no Ukrainians would come to Antalya, which was a popular destination with Ukrainian holidaymakers.
Despite the gloomy outlook at the onset of the war, 134,000 Ukrainians arrived in the city by planes between January and November, Yavuz added.
“Most of those Ukrainians vacationers are those who presently work in Germany and chose to spend their annual leave in Antalya, as well as Ukrainians who live in Poland,” Yavuz explained.
In January, only 2,600 Ukrainians arrived in the city by planes, and arrivals increased gradually in the following months, climbing to 10,000 in May and further up to 22,000 in July. In September, more than 23,000 Ukrainian nationals visited Antalya, while 4,000 Ukrainians arrived in the city last month, according to Yavuz.
From January to November, 13.1 million foreign tourists visited Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, marking a 48 percent increase from a year ago.
January-November numbers for Antalya were above that of 2019, when the Turkish tourism sector saw a record number of foreign tourist arrivals.
Data from the provincial directorate of culture and tourism showed that Russians accounted for 23.5 percent of all foreign tourist arrivals in the first 11 months of the year, followed by Germans at 22 percent. Britons ranked third at around 9 percent and Polish tourists at 6 percent.
In the first 10 months of 2022, Türkiye welcomed around 586,000 Ukrainian tourists, down 70 percent from the January-October period of 2021, according to the latest data from the Tourism Ministry.
Russian tourist arrivals increased by 6 percent on an annual basis to 4.6 million in the same period.
Meanwhile, hotels in the Alanya district of Antalya are preparing for a busy winter season, thanks to the Christmas Holiday.
Normally, 10 percent of hotels in the district would be open in the winter compared with the summer months, but this year, 15 percent of those facilities will host tourists, said Burhan Sili, the president of the Alanya Touristic Hoteliers’ Association (ALTİD).
“Demand for the Christmas Holiday is strong. The occupancy rate will be around 80 to 90 percent at those hotels, up by 20 points from a year ago,” Sili said.