Dubbed Turkey's tourism capital, double-digit growth in the European tourism market achieved by the Mediterranean province of Antalya, which has recently broken records in the number of tourists coming on a daily basis, has satisfied tourism professionals in the city. Besides getting back to the good old days and managing to re-achieve strong figures for European tourists, the holiday resort is enjoying a buoyant season this year that is expected to bring new records. In the January-June period this year, Antalya saw double-digit growth in the number of tourists arriving from European countries, including Germany, the U.K., Poland, France, Sweden and the Czech Republic among others.
The number of German tourists soared from 788,004 in the first half of last year to 941,406 in the same period this year, a 19.47 percent surge.
On the other hand, the number of British tourists visiting the city rose by 23.24 percent to 292,616 from January to June from 237,236 in the same period last year.
Also, the number of Polish tourists in the city was up 42.7 percent, to 198,812 from 139,315. Meanwhile, the number of French, Swedish and Czech tourists grew by 34 percent, 36 percent and 46 percent, respectively.
Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers and Operators Association (AKTOB) Chairman Erkan Yağcı told Anadolu Agency (AA) that tourism is the national treasure of Turkey and it is therefore necessary to support the sector with this awareness.
Highlighting that Turkey is a country of tourism and ranks sixth in the world, Yağcı noted that they aim to be one of the top five countries in the world in the tourism industry.
Emphasizing that the tourism industry is seeing pleasing developments, he continued: "We consider Antalya the capital of Turkish tourism. The figures also make it clear that we are continuing the tourism season with a growth of 15 percent over last year, which also saw good figures."
Pointing out that they hosted around 14 million tourists in Antalya last year, Yağcı stated that they could reach 15 million to 16 million this year.
Antalya has welcomed more than 5.3 million foreign tourists in the first six months of this year, according to the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism. The first-half figure rose nearly 17 percent from the same period last year.
Emphasizing that major developments are taking place in all the markets, Yağcı continued: "We have seen significant growth in the European market as well. One of the markets with the lowest growth last year was Germany. This year, the German market is also growing. This year's figures indicate double-digit growth in all European markets of Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands and Belgium as well as in Russia. We are in the middle of the season. If we pass the months of July, August and September in line with our expectations, we will have achieved good growth in the European market at the end of the year. 2015 was the best year in the German market. If we re-achieve the 2015 figures this year, it will be an important success. We are aiming for growth in the German market in 2020 primarily."
On the other hand, Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD) Chairman Ülkay Atmaca remarked that Antalya has had a good tourism season after six months and 17 days.
Underlining that no tourism facilities with correct and strategic plans have experienced setbacks, Atamaca continued: "We see that there is no shrinkage in tourism in Antalya and Turkey in general. We set a target of a 10 percent increase in income per tourist, and we have reached 8 percent at the moment. We think we will see around 10 percent after July and August. We anticipate that we will catch 8-10 percent in both the number of tourists and income. We have reached a very good point in tourism thanks to both the right marketing and right promotional activities we conducted in winter and the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. We see that the European market in particular is returning to its previous course and is undergoing significant growth."