By Ayse Yildiz
ANTALYA, Turkey (AA) - With strict safety and hygiene measures in place, Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya hosted nearly 80,000 tourists in the first two weeks of November.
Known for its unique combination of beautiful beaches, luxury facilities, and rich history, Antalya has managed to maintain its place as a booming tourist destination despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourists have been able to vacation with peace of mind thanks to the safe tourism measures enforced by the Turkish government, which has set high safety standards in all areas of the industry.
Even as temperatures fell with the onset of winter, Antalya welcomed 79,996 tourists between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15, according to official data.
Among these visitors were 56,470 Russians, 4,274 Germans, and 4,104 Ukrainians.
Antalya has now hosted over 3.35 million visitors in what has been one of the toughest years for the global tourism industry.
Recep Yavuz, the head of the Antalya City Council’s Tourism Working Group, told Anadolu Agency that the city has seen a good turnout despite all the virus disruptions.
"Antalya is the only city in the world to host over 3 million tourists this year," he said.
The figure was achieved even though the tourism season started late this year, proving that visitors have been more than satisfied with our services and safety measures, he added.
- All set for 2021
For Ulkay Atmaca, the chairman of Turkey’s Professional Hotel Managers Association, being able to attract tourists to a city during such a pandemic was more important than the number of visitors itself.
"This year has been sort of a training run for 2021. The preparations we have made and the experience we gained will be of great value in 2021," he said, adding that reservations for next year are already picking up.
*Writing by Sena Guler