The Fethiye district is beginning to shed its winter garb and shake itself off for the summer – and many of the signs so far are that it could be a bumper season.
Unpredictable events including weather and politics could still influence the final figures but, so far, there has been quite a bit of positive news.
Turkey was one of the top performers in the tourism business in 2018, recording an increase of 22% in the number of visitors last season.
Best Overseas Destination
The European Travel Commission stated the figures put Turkey above 33 other European nations, with Serbia and Malta rounding off the top three.
Significant increases were recorded in the number of visitors to Turkey from Russia, India and China.
Meanwhile, Turkey was also awarded the Best Overseas Destination Award at the Road Trip Festival in Shanghai earlier this month at an event organised in Shanghai by the China Self-Drive Club.
The accolade underpins 2018 being the Year of Turkish Tourism in China, helping to increase the number of visitors from the Far East by almost 60%.
Turkey is also expecting an estimated six million tourists to visit from Russia in 2019 – an increase of between 10 and 15%.
Relations between the two countries have thawed since sanctions were lifted in 2017, after they were imposed by Moscow in the wake of the shooting down of a Russian war plane over Syria.
The International Travel and Tourism Fair in Moscow this month was a successful trip for representatives from TÜRSAB – the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies.
Antalya and Istanbul remain the most popular destinations for Russians, who generally pick all-inclusive breaks and, on average, stay eight nights.
Meanwhile, an estimated 1.5 million visitors had already arrived in Turkey by the end of January, up just over 5% on the same period the year before.
Most were planning to tour Istanbul, although Erdine on the border of Greece and Bulgaria and Artvin on the Black Sea also performed well.
Turkey has also been named 2019’s cheapest holiday destination by the UK’s Post Office Travel Money survey.
The slump in the value of the Turkish lira isn’t great news for those who live and work in the country but the exchange rate is favourable for visitors, with bookings from the UK between April and December reported to be up 65% year-on-year.
The prospects for 2020 look a little better for Turkey too, with Seabourn confirming its cruises will return to Turkish ports in 2020.
The Seabourn Odyssey will visit the Turquoise Coast between Izmir and Antalya as part of a cruise visiting the Aegean and Mediterranean.