Talks in progress to launch direct flights between India, Antalya

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 22.06.2017 21:59

Turkey's popular summer destination Antalya is getting increasing attention from Indian tourists, especially when it comes to lavish weddings, as the two countries discuss possible launching of direct flights between Antalya and the country of India.

The development has been confirmed by Hakan Duran, chairman of the Professional Hotel Management Association (POYD), who said India is among the emerging markets in Turkey's tourism sector.

Travelers from India seeking a trip to Antalya currently have to make one or two layovers - either in Istanbul or another European city - before travelling to Antalya in south Turkey.

Pointing out that India's tourists make up a crucial segment of Antalya's tourism sector, Duran said: "India is a major market for us. Every year, between 15 and 20 Indian weddings are held in Turkey. Guests from the country attend weddings here and also stay for the summer months."

He said the high-quality service offered at Turkish hotels and Antalya's diverse cuisine attract tourists from India, many of them wealthy, with the potential to bring millions of dollars to the sector.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Duran said that the Russian market has also been significantly mobilized thanks to the summer break and the end of Ramadan which have mobilized local tourists and Russians alike.

He went on to say, "Last-minute mobility among European tourists is also increasing. In Europe, schools will be closed at the beginning of July. However, high occupancy rates and high prices in competing tourism markets actually help make Turkey attractive again."

Duran noted that despite the political rift with Germany, studies have been completed regarding the country's tourism market, suggesting that the pricing policies in Antalya and Turkey as a whole are noteworthy.

Regarding occupancy rates in Turkish hotels, Duran said that the current trend is likely to continue until September thanks to tourists from Russia, Europe, Ukraine and local tourists. He added that figures, in terms of the number of incoming tourists, are well above 2016 levels.

Recalling that last year only 800,000 tourists traveled from Russia, Turkey's main tourism market, Duran said, "We expect at least 4.5 million tourists from Russia this year. We expected 3.5 million tourists in Antalya alone, indicating a highly significant increase. We are still lagging behind in terms of revenue but that will also increase thanks to our quality services."

Among the total 10 million local tourists, nearly 6 million are expected to travel to Antalya this year, said Duran.

"With conveniences such as early booking, installment payment plans and the Ramadan holiday, hotels in Antalya are 100-percent full. Since the majority of hotels are full, from now on everybody will go to whichever hotel they can find," he said.

"With schools out and a nine-day holiday coming up, there is very serious mobility."

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