The Alanya district is the capital of Turkish tourism in the province of Antalya and is one of the most popular places for tourists visiting Turkey.
Home to many civilizations including the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman empires since ancient times, Alanya has drawn millions of tourists for its historical and natural beauties. The district’s population of 300,000 exceeds 500,000 in the summer with daily tourists from Europe and Russia. In 2017, 3.5 million tourists came to Alanya, which welcomes one of 10 tourists visiting Turkey and one of three vacationers visiting Antalya.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, the Alanya Touristic Entrepreneurs Association (ALTİD) head Burhan Sili said Alanya was the first place of tourism in the Mediterranean.
“Tourism began in the district in the 1950s-1960s. Today, [hotel] bed capacity is 125,000, which is 30 percent of Antalya’s capacity and 10 percent of Turkey’s capacity. We host 3.5 million tourists from 72 nations. It has reached 4 million with the domestic market. Our goal is to host 5-5.5 million tourists by 2023,” he said.
Sili said they have tried to improve tourism and that they wanted to encourage areas of tourism other than beach tourism.
He said their goal was to use Alanya’s proper winter climate as an advantage.
“Alanya hosts more than 11-fold of its own population. In terms of the number of tourists, we host more people than the number of many countries’ populations. We also need to increase revenue. Therefore, we need to increase the variety of alternatives,” said the ALTİD head.
It also provides a great boost to employment, adding that 100,000 people were employed during tourism season, he said.
“There are lots of foreigners who prefer to live in Alanya. They buy houses and spend part of the year here. They make a great contribution to promoting Turkey,” he said, speaking about foreigners living in the district.
The Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) Alanya Regiona Executive Board (PYD) President Suat Çavuşoğlu said Alanya had a great potential in tourism, which was shown by numbers.
“We host 3.5 million tourists a year. This number is more positive after the opening of the Gazipaşa Airport. Alanya’s share is nearly 80 percent in Turkish tourism,” said Cavuşoğlu.
He said Alanya was one of the biggest destinations in Turkey and they tried to bring more tourists.
“The number of tourists increase after schools break up. From Okurcalar to Gazipaşa, our beaches are very beautiful. Bulgaria was cheaper than us but now, it is more expensive. We are more positive about competition with other countries. Tour operators prefer Turkey,” said Çavuşoğlu.
The Antalya Promotion Foundation (ATAV) Deputy President Mehmet Dahaoğlu said Alanya was a well-known brand in tourism.
“Alanya is well known in Europe. People have been coming here for years. It has become a brand. Our goal is to exceed the current figures,” said Dahaoğlu, adding they would attend 33 fairs in 2018-2019.