Pamukkale most visted among Turkey's ancient sites

Pamukkale most visted among Turkey's ancient sites

DENİZLİ – Anadolu Agency
Pamukkale most visted among Turkeys ancient sites

The white travertines of Pamukkale are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. DHA Photo

A “white haven” in the western province of Denizli, Pamukkale, which means “Cotton Castle” in Turkish, ranks first this year among Turkey’s ancient sites in terms of the number of visitors and earnings.

Pamukkale, which offers a unique beauty with its white travertine created by carbonate minerals left from the flowing water, draws interest from visitors throughout the year. This year, the number of visitors increased by 9.6 percent in Pamukkale compared to last year and rose to number one among 78 tourist sites in the country.

Denizli Culture and Tourism Director Mehmet Korkmaz said the city had 10 different tourism varieties, including thermal health, culture, faith, sports, shopping, plant, botanic, ornithology and ecotourism, and it serves tourism throughout the year with a bed capacity of 18,700 and an international airport.

The city is also one of the leading tourist destinations thanks to Pamukkale, which is unique in the world and listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, said Korkmaz.

“The Culture and Tourism Ministry is responsible for the operation of 313 museums and sites countrywide. Among these places, 125 are free of charge for visitors and 110 museums and 78 sites have entry fees. Pamukkale is one of those 78 sites. Considering the data of the last eight months recently revealed by the ministry, the Pamukkale site surpassed the ancient site of Ephesus and ranked first among historic sites. We are the number one in the country as a result of our service. The Culture and Tourism Ministry, Denizli Governor’s Office Culture and Tourism Directorate promote Denizli and especially Pamukkale in all national and international fairs. This promotion plays a great role in drawing more visitors,” he added.

As of the end of September, the number of people visiting Pamukkale was 1,542,328, an increase of 9.6 percent on last year, said Korkmaz.

In terms of foreign tourists visiting the region, he said they mostly hosted visitors from Russia and Germany, but also welcomed many visitors from the U.K., Japan, South Korea, China and other Far Eastern countries.

"Pamukkale has large numbers of visitors from nearly 20 countries. They here for faith, thermal health and culture tourism. The most important reason why Russians come to the region is Pamukkale and to experience thermal waters,” Korkmaz said.

Hagia Sophia first among museums

According to the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s data, when it comes to the museum category, Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia ranks first among the most visited museums in Turkey.

The revenue from both museums and tourist sites across the country totaled 280 million Turkish Liras in the first eight months of the year. While Hagia Sophia raked in over 40 million liras, it was followed by Topkapı Palace Museum, and the ancient sites of Pamukkale’s Hierapolis and İzmir’s Ephesus.

In terms of visitor numbers, Topkapı Palace Museums ranks first with 236,205 visitors, followed by the Hagia Sophia, Mevlana Museum, Pamukkale Hierapolis and Ephesus.