The decision in Cabinet on Aug. 15 to extend the Eid el-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) holiday to 10 days in Turkey is expected to further boost tourism. Istanbulites will leave town due to the extended holiday, and Istanbul will be filled by tourists who are curious and want to visit the city.
Moreover, it was also reported that tourism sector representatives expect tour operators to organize cultural tours across Istanbul, as many people from other cities in Turkey are expected to come to Istanbul to visit their relatives during the holiday.
Istanbul Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism Coşkun Yılmaz stated that Istanbul is a city where people are from time to time overwhelmed due to heavy traffic and congestion, saying that, however, the city becomes quite comfortable during the holidays like this.
Yılmaz also said that the economic discounts the municipality is implementing during the holiday and the lifting of the fees on bridges and highways will significantly increase mobility in Istanbul.
Yılmaz continued by saying that the holiday is considered an important opportunity for those who want to come to Istanbul from various regions of Turkey. "Those who want to see Istanbul and those who are curious, should consider the holiday as a great opportunity," said Yılmaz.
Emphasizing that tourism professionals should concentrate more on Istanbul trips during such periods, Yılmaz said that during the feast day, Istanbul will enjoy unique mobility in terms of pure tourism and cultural tourism.
Yılmaz also indicated that the holiday will create a revenue gate for tourism professionals and that the free movement will also have an impact on Istanbul.
This is an important holiday economy in Turkey, Yılmaz said, adding that familial visits, gifts, confectionery and textile shopping, which constitute an important part of the traditional feast economy, will also continue at full speed.
Indicating that Istanbul benefits from the feast economy significantly, Yılmaz said that traditional shopping centers and district bazaars are the best indicators of this.
Chairman of the Turkish Hoteliers Association (TÜROB) Timur Bayındır, recalling that the extension of the holiday will enable the domestic tourism movement to accelerate even more, said there is an increase in the number of tourists coming from the Middle East during the holiday period.
Bayındır also said that the Feast of Sacrifice coincided with the high season this year, adding that, with an increase in the number of local tourists as well as Russian tourists, there was significant movement in resort areas during this period.
"During the Bayram holiday, it seems that the occupancy rate in Istanbul will reach 80 percent due to the effect of Gulf tourists," he said.