Turkish tourism sector praises extension of Eid al-Adha public holiday
ANTALYA/MUĞLATurkey’s embattled tourism sector is pleased with the extension of a public holiday for the upcoming Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) to 10 days, during which around 1 million people travel and create 1 billion Turkish Liras in additional revenue for the sector.
speaking after a cabinet meeting on Aug. 15, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced that the Eid holiday would extended to 10 days in Turkey this year.
The cabinet agreed at a meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to extend the holiday to the full 10 days for public employees, Bozdağ said.
According to the cabinet decision, the Eid al-Adha holiday will start on Aug. 28 and end on Sept. 3.
Bozdağ told reporters the decision was taken in the context of “helping family visits, reviving the tourism sector, and having a positive effect on commerce.”
“This was quite a positive decision for our sector,” the head of a leading sector association told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Aug. 15, while also thanking to authorities.
Turkish Hoteliers Federations (TÜROFED) President Osman Ayık said nearly half a million people were expected to flock to the country’s resorts during the extended holiday.
Another sector player said the sector would likely make an additional 1 billion liras in revenue.
“Nearly 1 million people will travel throughout the country and that will enable us to earn 1 billion liras. The extension of the holiday will bring about a rebound in the sector’s revenue, further fueling the Turkish economy,” TÜROFED Vice President and Aegean Touristic Hoteliers Association (ETİK) head Mehmet İşler told Doğan News Agency on Aug. 16.
A top local representative from the Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) said the sector earned nearly 800 million liras in revenue during a nine-day public holiday last year.
“More than 700,000 local tourists had a holiday during the long public holiday last year. This figure will likely hit 1 million this year. In this vein, over 1 billion liras of additional value will be created over this year,” TÜRSAB’s Ali Kırlı said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
President Erdoğan had said on Aug. 11 that the government was reviewing the possibility of extending the Eid al-Adha holiday, adding that such a move would be “felicitous” for Turkey’s struggling tourism sector.
However, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and industrialists spoke out against the extension of the holiday, worrying about the effect on economic productivity.
But tourism players backed the longer holiday, saying it would improve people’s spirits rather than hurt production. The tourism sector has been struggling over the past two years amid a number of diplomatic crises and a series of bomb attacks, they noted.