Turkish resort of Antalya expects over 750,000 Ukrainian tourists this year

Turkish resort of Antalya expects over 750,000 Ukrainian tourists this year

Turkish resort of Antalya expects over 750,000 Ukrainian tourists this year

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More than 750,000 Ukrainian tourists are expected to travel to the Mediterranean resort province of Antalya this year as the number of visitors from the country continued to soar in the first half of the year, the province’s local governor has stated.

Speaking to a group of Ukrainian journalists on July 12, Governor Münir Karaloğlu said there was around 45 percent increase in the number of Ukrainian tourists coming to Antalya over the first six months of 2017 compared to figures from the same period last year, with a total of 253,000 tourists.

Karaloğlu said over one million Ukrainian tourists came to Turkey in 2016, with 55 percent of them having chosen Antalya as their destination, adding that the city expected over 750,000 Ukrainian tourists this year.

Karaloğlu said the figure makes up around eight percent of the city’s tourism in total.

He noted that Antalya also has alternative tourism opportunities apart from its famous sea and coastal tourism with archaeological sites and underwater treasuries as well as sports and heath tourism.

The city has a total of 211 blue flag beaches and marinas, he said.

The Antalya governor also announced that the Turkish festival, first held in Moscow about one month ago with the support of culture and tourism ministry, would now be organized in Kyiv.

“A total of 160,000 visitors came to our festival in Moscow and it drew huge attention. The Kyiv mayor told us that he could provide any kind of opportunity for the festival and we began our preparations. We will promote all of our values, including the Turkish culture, arts and cuisine, with this festival in Ukraine, and I believe we will attract the same attention in Ukraine,” Karaloğlu said.

In a bid to boost tourism, Ankara and Kyiv signed an agreement allowing their citizens to travel to each other’s countries with only an identity card during a visit by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman to Ankara upon Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s invitation in March. 

According to the country’s leading tourism association, the Hotels Association of Turkey (TÜROB), in addition to more than 500,000 tourists visiting Antalya in 2016, around 270,000 Ukrainian tourists also visited Istanbul for an increase of around 7 percent.

It said Israel, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, Egypt, Thailand, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates were other top destinations for Ukrainian tourists last year.

Turkey’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines operates a total of six direct flights to Ukraine. 

Some 150,000 Turkish tourists also visited Ukraine last year, according to TÜROB.