This year, Turkey is the destination to visit

By | Category: Travel destinations

Remembering Troy

For a country that has seen British tourists stay away over the last couple of years, this year has been a complete turnaround.

Visitor numbers to the country increased by 50.56% in the first quarter of 2018, with a total of 7,263,807 visits. Tour operators and airlines are reporting very healthy business and resorts are much busier than they were last year.

Friends who holidayed in Antalya for three weeks last year have just returned from having spent the same period there this year. Not only did the hotels see more guests but shops, souks, restaurants and attractions are seeing more British, Irish and German holidaymakers.

One of the reasons for an upturn maybe because the Turkish lira has continued its decline against the pound, the euro and the US dollar amongst other countries meaning visitors can buy more their money. It has also helped to keep the price of holidays low.

This year, Turkey is concentrating on its heritage as part of its promotional efforts. It is the Year of Troy as it is twenty years since the site joined the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

As part of the Year of Troy, a calendar of cultural and sporting initiatives will be held throughout the year, including the International Trojan Food Festival-Çanakkale next month and the Trojan Horse Short Film Festival in October. Even a Turkish Airlines aircraft has been painted with a Trojan horse on its fuselage!

Other events include the opening, after an eight-year restoration project, of the 1,600-year-old Theodosius Cistern officially opened to the public. The Cistern is believed to date to the reign of the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II and formed part of a 250 km-long system which brought fresh water to the ancient city. Located in Istanbul’s Çemberlitaş neighborhood, the fifth century structure will periodically host art exhibitions and other cultural events.

All of which – in concert with all the other heritage sites that Turkey has to offer and a weakening currency – should mean that the current boom in holidays to the country should continue.

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