Southern tourism benefiting from losses of neighbors

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Add Date : 27.07.2011 11:05


While Egypt and Tunisia, preferred by European tourists in winter months, were adversely affected by the events in Northern Africa, much attention shifted toward Turkey’s tourism capital Antalya.
Content with the number of tourists that have arrived in Antalya in the winter season, tourism executives are concerned that they cannot make healthy projections for next year given the fact this effect will cease to exist.
The major decrease in tourism in Egypt and Tunisia this year resulted in a 30.77 increase in the number of incoming tourists to Antalya in the first four months of the year. According to data provided by Antalya’s Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, the number of tourists visiting Antalya during the January-April period of 2011 reached 1.5 million. This figure stood at 1.1 million at the same period last year.
The number of Russian tourists visiting Antalya during the winter season increased 106.5 percent to reach 185,098 while the number of German tourists topped the list with 531,083.
Tourists coming from Iran also recorded a sharp increase by 105.7 percent from 22,280 to 45,832. The number of Finnish tourists also rose from 10,020 to 21,394.
This year is fine but how about next year?
Coordinator of Fame Residence Hotels Erkut Kara said they have experienced a very good season and it was a first that the sector was happy during winter months in Antalya due to the fact that Russian tourists preferred the city for their winter holidays because of the unrest in North Africa.
Moreover, the foreign exchange rate was also at desirable levels and the inflationary pressure was low, Kara said, noting the number of deals signed increased because of the events in North Africa thus positively affecting their profitability.
Developments in the winter period were indeed satisfactory Kara said, however he warned that there was concern for next year. “This trend may turn just the opposite next year. This year it was nice but the wheels may turn in the other direction any moment. Serious action [to come back] is expected form Egypt and Tunisia. The states of Tunisia and Egypt are exerting special supports to attract the tourists again and they have started acting now. In order to revive their economy, they hand out free shopping credits to tourists on their arrival at the airport.” ZEYNEP AKYIL KARAYEL
ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency