Eid holiday gives boost to domestic tourism
The long Eid-al Adha holiday provided the ailing tourism industry with a much-needed boost as millions of people flocked to resort towns.
"The strong mobility during the Eid holiday was encouraging, tourism activity picked up in almost all regions of the country. People had to stay home, their mobility was restricted last year due to COVID-19, but the Eid offered them an opportunity," said Sururi Çorabatır, the chair of the Turkish Hoteliers' Association (TÜROFED).
Demand from both domestic and international holidaymakers for the resort town in the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts were particularly strong while Cappadocia in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir also lured a significant number of tourists, according to Çorabatır.
"Domestic tourism activity was even stronger than 2019 which was the best year ever. We hosted tourists from over 50 countries, including Russia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria and Slovakia," he said.
If the U.K. allows travel to Turkey, this will revive tourism especially in the Aegean region, Çorabatır added.
He predicts that the strong domestic tourism activity will continue until schools open, depending on the course the pandemic takes and vaccinations.
Turkey plans to resume in-class education in September.
Local venues, hotels are strictly following the rules set out in the Safe Tourism Certificate Program, Çorabatır said.
Recently, the culture and tourism minister said that the vaccination rate among hotel staff was at least 93 percent.
"We do not want to go back where we were last year. The tourism sector directly impacts more than 60 industries. Keeping tourism facilities open means creating more jobs, more shopping and revival in economic activity," Çorabatır...