By Ayse Yildiz
ANTALYA, Turkey (AA) - Turkey's Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, which is among the world's foremost tourism destinations, hosted over 3.5 million tourists despite the pandemic, tourism sector authorities said on Friday.
In Antalya, as in the rest of the country, the tourism season last year was launched in June in accordance with a plan of measures by the health, interior, and foreign ministries under the guidance of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, as well as with contributions of tourism partners.
All touristic facilities with a capacity of over 30 beds, which want to operate, as well as businesses and transfer vehicles were required to have a Safe Tourism Certificate.
Also, measures taken in all spaces used by tourists, including planes, hotel lobbies, restaurants, and beaches, made Antalya, the capital city of tourism, to become a destination for safe vacations during the pandemic.
Antalya started to welcome foreign tourists as flights to/from Ukraine resumed on July 1 last year, and continued receiving more tourists when flights to/from Russia began on Aug. 10, 2020.
Through all measures, over 3.5 million tourists across the world visited Antalya.
The city hosted more than 1.5 million Russian, over 557,000 Ukrainian, at least 346,000 German, and around 211,000 British tourists. They were followed by arrivals from Poland, Switzerland, Moldova, Romania, Kazakhstan, and the Netherlands.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Recep Yavuz, the head of the city council's tourism working group, stressed that the safe tourism offered at Antalya's touristic facilities helped it host over 3.5 million tourists amid pandemic as "a remarkable achievement", adding: "There is no other country that could achieve this. The forthcoming season will be even brighter for Antalya."
Cem Kinay, a senior officer at Turkey's Tourism Promotion and Development Agency, also noted that Antalya attracted tourists from various countries and succeeded to respond to their needs.
* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara.