2017 was quite the year and the time really has flown!

Fethiye Times

Fethiye Times saw a change of ownership with Founder, Iain McCulloch, moving on to new and exciting things. We’ve spent the last eight months getting to know our readers, what sort of things they like to read about and building a network of contributors. This will enable us to move into the New Year bringing you a bigger and even better Fethiye Times.

But enough about us, read on and share some of the highlights of 2017.

Great news for tourism

Following a sharp decline in the number of visitors in 2016, a year that included a series of terrorist attacks and a failed coup, Turkey’s tourism industry improved in 2017 with a continuous rise in the number of foreign tourists coming to the country.

Recent figures from the Culture and Tourism Ministry showed that around 29 million people visited Turkey in the first 10 months of the year, an increase of 28 percent compared to 22.7 million in the same period last year.

This is great news for those involved in the tourism industry and it is good to, once again, see positivity about Turkey as a tourist destination for 2018.

In light of promising 2017 data, Turkish tourism forecast to sustain growing trend Daily Sabah (Published 10th December 2017)

Four cities in Turkey listed on the top 100 most visited

2017 in review - what a year that was!

On November the 7th, at the World Travel Market in London, Euromonitor International unveiled the top 100 most visited cities in the world and four Turkish cities; Istanbul, Antalya, Edirne and Artvin appeared on the list.

Click here to read the full article.

Three Turkish cities join UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Hatay joins select group as City of Gastronomy
Hatay joins select group as City of Gastronomy

UNESCO confirmed three more Turkish cities have been added to their Creative Cities Network bringing the total to four. The south-eastern province of Gaziantep was accepted in 2015 and has now been joined by Istanbul, Hatay and Kutahya after their applications, submitted in 2016, were approved in October of this year.

Click here to read the full article

Turkish property sales to foreign buyers have risen 75% year-on-year

2017 in review - what a year that was!

In a report released in October, Turk Stat, the Turkish Statistical Institution said Turkish property sold to foreigners in September reflected a 75% increase on figures from the same time last year. Across the country, foreigners of various nationalities bought 2,236 homes intended for residential use.

Industry experts are excited by the news, saying the result reflects confidence in Turkey as well as its foreign investment plan.

Click here to read the full article.

Nearly half-million baby turtles reached sea from Turkey’s beaches in 2017

2017 in review - what a year that was!

Nearly half a million native baby sea turtles managed to reach the sea this year from Turkish beaches.

Of these 487,136 hatchlings, 227,696 were Turkey’s signature Caretta Caretta loggerhead turtles, and 259,440 were green turtles.

Beaches in Turkey, most famously İztuzu Beach, are popular breeding grounds for loggerheads, but these areas are also under heavy pressure from tourism activities.

Both loggerheads and green turtles are classified as endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The Muğla-based Sea Turtles Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (DEKAMER) monitors beaches to protect nests during the incubation season and also treats injured turtles.

We spoke to a number of local businesses about the 2017 season and to get their thoughts on 2018.

Mehmet Güven, owner of the Yakamoz Hotel in Ovacık

2017 in review - what a year that was!
Mehmet (front row, second from right) with the Yakamoz team

After a couple of troubled years and against the odds, the Yakamoz had a good season, better than was forecast. We are lucky to have a lot of guests who return to us every year, but we were pleased to see some new faces too. It’s a shame that so many people have been put off visiting this beautiful area by past events.

Although it is still early, we are optimistic about the 2018 season. We have some attractive special offers at certain times of the year as well”

Click here to see the special offers at the Yakamoz Hotel for 2018.

Şemsi Toprak, Programme Coordinator, The Travel Foundation 

2017 in review - what a year that was!

The Travel Foundation sees Turkey as a very promising destination and we are looking into new sustainable tourism related project opportunities in Fethiye and Muğla region”

Fatih Çanözü, owner of the Olive Garden in Kabak

2017 in review - what a year that was!

We had a very successful summer at the Olive Garden. We had more bookings than we had expected based on the previous year. We also had an increase in guests visiting for the day and the restaurant was especially busy, with many more larger groups of diners taking advantage of our free pick-up service. We have many walkers from the Lycian Way staying over for a couple of nights at a time, and it was reassuring to see the numbers increasing this year. We expect 2018 to be even busier as Turkey, once again, becomes a popular holiday destination.”

Sue Fockner, owner of Arkadaslik Yachting

2017 in review - what a year that was!

We were delighted to see an increase in foreign guests in 2017, welcoming many first-time visitors to Turkey aboard the boat. And, if the number of early bookings is any indication, 2018 promises to bring even more people to our little piece of paradise.

Nowadays, travellers appear to be researching their destinations and consulting reliable information sources, rather than allowing themselves to be swayed by scaremongering and one-sided media reporting. Turkey has so much to offer as a vacation destination – spectacular scenery, kind and friendly people, a culture that embodies hospitality, great weather, incredible food, and relatively low prices. Sure, there are downsides too. But overall, when everything is factored in, I’m optimistic that tourism will rebound and Turkey will regain its place in the “Top 10” countries to visit within the next few years.”

Tolga Erkutel, Director of Turkey Homes 

2017 in review - what a year that was!

Fethiye has had a vibrant real estate market for many years, especially amongst British nationals and Turkish people who also enjoy the Fethiye region for annual summer holidays. Many have bought second homes here. Despite all the ups & downs of the market, we, as a company, have expanded our business, moved in to our new office just off the Kordon below the Cafe Park Teras and increased our property consultants for the Fethiye area. The strong GBP conversion against the Turkish Lira has given the Turkey Homes website an increasing number of hits, and we are receiving more and more interest from British buyers as this current conversion rate gives much better deals on property than in previous years, which is also excellent news for locals.’’

Süleyman Akbay, Director of Oceanwide Properties

2017 in review - what a year that was!

The year ahead looks positive. We are expecting to see continued growth in domestic property sales here in Fethiye and along the coast. Fethiye has for many years been a popular investment choice with foreigners, the difference now is that the region is appealing to a broader investment base. Whereas traditionally our clients were British and European, we are now dealing with investors from far further afield. This year saw increased sales and enquiries from Russians, Arabs, the America’s, Korean’s, Iraqi’s and far more sales to local Turks and Turks relocating from elsewhere. Improvements in the local infrastructure, amenities and facilities are boosting opportunities and property prices are rising fast as a result. I envisage this growth to continue in 2018 – a property investment in Fethiye makes sense.”

Here at Fethiye Times we hope 2018 is a successful and prosperous year for all.

In the meantime we would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Sources: Spot Blue/Hurriyet Daily News/Daily Sabah