Turkish people have been preparing for a nine-day break during Ramadan Bayram (Eid al-Fitr), which kicks off tomorrow morning. Whether Turks set off for holiday or stay at home, they ramp up bayram expenditures that make good contributions to economic activity.
Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) Chairman Firuz Bağlıkaya said that economic activity is expected to exceed TL 6 billion during Ramadan Bayram holiday, while some 7-8 million people will be traveling, including visits to relatives.
Noting that domestic tourism has gained serious momentum due to the holiday, Bağlıkaya said: "Considering school holidays and other holidays, we expect a significant increase in domestic tourism. Tourism operators have completed their preparations since mid-April and are waiting for customers. It seems that a significant portion of Turkish people will be travelling. It is possible to see this from airplane, train and bus occupancy rates and passenger car traffic."
The TÜRSAB head indicated that those going for sea, sand and sun holiday prefer Antalya, Bodrum, Marmaris, Side and Çeşme, adding that cultural tours also attract heavy attention, with the Black Sea, Southern Anatolia and Cappadocia taking the lead. He also noted that hotel occupancy rates in these regions are quite high.
Pointing out that the nearest destinations are preferred in international tours, Bağlıkaya said: "The perception of exchange rates seems to have been eluded. Overseas tour sales have risen in this holiday. Paris, Prague, Budapest and Balkan tours are of interest. There is a lot more movement in domestic tours than last year."
Bağlıkaya said that more than $29 billion in tourism revenue was generated last year and $35 billion is the target for this year, noting that everyone is doing their best to achieve this goal. According to Bağlıkaya, hotel occupancy rates and tour sales indicate that this figure will be achieved. Turkey welcomed 39.5 million foreign visitors last year, a 21.84 percent increase year-on-year, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry.