Turkey is flying high it seems as recent figures just released suggests that by the end of this 2017 season Antalya is expected to have had more than 10 million visitors. Apparently, local and foreign tourists have flocked to Antalya Governor Münir Karaloğlu stated on the 23rd August, he went on to add “although 2016 was a very tough year for Antalya’s tourism, this year has seen an up tick in figures” Karaloğlu said. The number of foreign tourists to Antalya declined to just 6 million in 2016, a 43 percent fall compared to 2015, mainly due to Turkey’s crisis with Russia and rising security problems.
Karaloğlu also said “the number of arrivals to the resort rose by 65 percent by mid-August compared to the same period of 2016” The resort has so far hosted almost 6.5 million tourists over the course of this year. Governor Münir Karaloğlu stated “we will likely attract nearly 10.5 million tourists this year if no negative incident occurs,” he added.
Turkey will celebrate Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) which starts the evening of 31st August for 4 days but please note 30th August is Victory Day in Turkey and is also a public holiday. However, the holiday has been extended it now begins the evening of 26th August and covers 10 days.
Governor Münir Karaloğlu explained the reason behind the extra holidays “the extension of the public holiday for the Eid al-Adha [Feast of Sacrifice] to 10 days is of great importance for reviving Turkey’s local tourism. We have needed to fill our gap in foreign tourists with local tourists,” he said, adding “that hotel occupancy rates during the 10-day holiday would hit 100 percent and the upsurge in Antalya’s tourism sector also makes great contribution to the resorts two other key sectors, the agricultural and commercial sectors” Karaloğlu also said.
It’s also worth noting that during this holiday all Government buildings including banks, tax offices, council offices and Notary’s are all closed. If you either reside in Turkey or are due on holiday please make sure you have enough cash as the demand in using cash machines means they often run out of money. Government offices will close Friday 26th August in the evening and will be open the morning of Tuesday 5th September.
Tourists and holiday makers will still be able to visit cafes, bars and restaurants and other attractions they will remain open as usual, as will supermarkets etc. Chemists will be open but not all of them, it’s the same as the UK at public holiday times there will be an emergency chemists.
During the main 4 days holiday local weekly markets that are normally open will be closed, look at the local press they will give dates of openings. Airport transfers will still run as normal but double check with your travel company before hand for confirmation.
If you want to wish your Turkish friends a good holiday at this festival time simply wish them İyi Bayramlar – happy holidays!