Turkish tourism excited about Kurban Bayram

BETÜL ALAKENT
ISTANBUL
Published

Delighted by the extension of the upcoming Qurban Bayram to nine days, the Turkish tourism sector is expected to attract more than 1 million domestic tourists for the first time, and generate TL 1.5 billion ($517.8 million) in revenue. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's announcement that the Qurban Bayram was extended to nine days generated great excitement in the tourism sector. Sector representatives stress that the announcement of holiday period two months before Qurban Bayram is crucial for both tourism professionals and holiday makers to plan, adding that holiday package sales will surge by 50 percent this year when compared to the same period last year. Nearly 750,000 people bought holiday packages during the Ramadan Bayram, and this figure is expected to rise by nearly 30 percent during the Qurban Bayram. If this figure can be achieved, the number of domestic tourists having holiday will exceed one million for the first time. The tourism sector is expected to generate TL 1.5 billion in revenue, and hotel occupancy rates are expected to rise up to 100 percent for this period. Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) Chairman Osman Ayık said the early announcement of holiday period is a sound decision, adding, "With this decision, hotel occupancy rates might reach 100 percent."

Turkish Touristic Hotels and Investors Association (TÜROB) Chairman Timur Bayındır said they estimate nearly one million people will take package tours, and expects nearly TL 1.5 billion in business revenue. He said: "In addition to coastal cities, hotels in Cappadocia, Black Sea region, and thermal tourism cities of Yalova, Afyon and Eskişehir are likely to reach 100 percent occupancy." Jolly Tour General Manager Figen Erkan said the holiday will be the last before schools open, adding that prices will be more affordable than they are in the season. Jolly Tour has sold 50 percent of holiday packages for the Qurban Bayram holiday. Etstur Domestic Tours Manager Bora Genç stated that demand for Eid al-Adha holiday packages has soared by 400 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Underlining that holiday packages from four days to seven days will attract the interest of holiday makers most, Pronto Tour CEO Ali Onaran said that package tour sales started even before the holiday period was officially announced. Pronto Tour sold 30 percent of holiday packages for Qurban Bayram. A total of 250,000 people went abroad with package tours last year and this figure is expected to exceed 300,000 this year.

Tatilbudur.com General Manager Bülent Kuş said that the company has increased its capacity of foreign holiday packages by 40 percent. The domestic holiday spots of Belek, Side, Alanya, Bodrum, Marmaris and Çeşme will again be popular this year, while the interest in cultural tours is expected to increase.

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