Pamukkale welcomes 625,000 visitors in 2020
Pamukkale, a natural landmark tourist attraction in the southwestern province of Denizli, hosted a total of 625,000 visitors in 2020, falling short of meeting the target of welcoming 3 million sightseers initially set for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, a record 2.6 million people visited the tourist hotspot.
Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its mineral-rich thermal waters and white travertine terraces.
As part of the Turkish government’s ant-virus measures, the site was closed to visitors on March 19, but the ban was lifted after 74 days later.
After the country rolled back some of the virus-related restrictions in June, tourists started to visit Pamukkale, which welcomed nearly 230,000 visitors between June and August.
Sightseers visiting the site are still subject to certain rules. Their temperatures are measured, and they are required to wear face masks.
“We had initially expected 3 million tourists to visit Pamukkale, however we ended 2020 with 625,000 visitors. Still, this is a good number of visitors,” said Gazi Murat Şen, the head of the Denizli Touristic Hoteliers’ Association (DENTUROD).
Şen expressed hope that 2021 will be a much better year for the local tourism industry.
“As nations in the world are rolling out vaccination programs and people get vaccinated, Turkey will once again become one of the top holiday destinations,” he said.
Ramazan Demirdağ, who traveled from the southern province Antalya to Pamukkale, said he was impressed by the site.
“It is such a wonderful feeling walking on the travertines. It has been a great visit for us,” he said.
Pamukkale exceeded her expectations, said Zeynep Kara, who came from the western province of İzmir.
“My friends, who had already been here, told me about how crowded Pamukkale was. There are only a few people now because of the outbreak. We really enjoyed it here,” she added.