Welcome to the new year and welcome to the first instalment of the local news from Fethiye, Muğla and surrounding area for 2012.

‘Ingiliz Yarenler’

The Ölüdeniz Yarenler hit the local news again this week, when the Mayor of Ölüdeniz held a press conference at which he announced they would be going to tourism fairs in Europe during 2012.

Thus they would not just be representing Ölüdeniz, but would perform on behalf of Turkey as a whole, and thus their name could be changed to the ‘Ingiliz Yarenler’.

Fethiye Welcomed 1.35 Million Visitors in the 2011 Season

The statistics for last year are now coming through, with the tourism figures being announced this week.

From 1st May to 31st October 2011 Fethiye had a total of 1.35 million visitors: 650,000 were foreigners and 700,000 Turkish holidaymakers.

This was an increase of 50,000 on 2010 with the increase being entirely foreigners.

However, the number of British visitors was down slightly on the previous year, and the overall rise is down to increases in the number of Russian, French and Dutch tourists.

As we presume these figures are compiled from bed occupancy in hotels, they do not include all the friends and family who come out to stay with us British residents.

When someone in the local bureaucracy works this out, they will no doubt have us all filling out little cards for each guest in the house on a weekly basis!

Fethiye Tourism Union Takes Over Canyon Attraction

Saklıkent Canyon opened to visitors from 1st January ‘under new management’.

Last year the Canyon was managed by a company called MELSA who also have the contract for services on Ölüdeniz and Kıdrak Beaches and the Lagoon.

This year sees the start of a five-year management contract run by the Fethiye Tourism Union, who are keeping the entry charge at last year’s rate of 4.50TL per person.

Tour of Turkey Will Visit Fethiye Again in 2012

The annual Presidential Cycle Race held in April is always on our calendars here, as it leads to road closures which can be very annoying.

So we were delighted to read this week that the race to be held in April 2012, will start in Alanya and end in Istanbul – a total reverse of the route taken over the past four years. Start date is 22 April.

However, the race will still come through Fethiye as the fourth day is from Fethiye to Marmaris.

So don’t plan to be going anywhere on that day!

Çiftlik Boatyard Plans Almost Finalised

The long running proposal to move the boatyard from Karagözler to a site outside Fethiye, took a new turn this week when it was announced plans were almost finalised for the new boatyard and dry dock facilities to be created in Çiftlik.

The Mayor of Çiftlik told press the plan, to turn 150k square metres of low lying land into the new Çiftlik Boatyard, had been approved by the Ministry of the Environment.

The site lies 400m from the sea but a canal will be created to give access to boats.