Despite the ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East, Turkey’s Mediterranean resort town of Marmaris, already popular among British and Russians tourists, is becoming an increasingly popular center of attraction for Arab tourists.
Receiving around 700,000 British and 200,000 Russian tourists every year, Marmaris last year also attracted over 30,000 Arab tourists, mostly from Jordan and Lebanon. Turkish tourism players are now expecting a further increase in the upcoming season.
The Marmaris branch head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), ?smail Özbozda?, said that despite the political turmoil in the Middle East, the increase in the number of tourists coming from the region is quite striking.
“This region offers great opportunities to Arab tourists. They value natural and historical beauties … Despite the continuing political turmoil in the Middle East, there has been a significant increase of around 30 percent in the number of Arab tourists visiting Marmaris, which is quite pleasing for Turkish tourism players,” Özbozda? added.
In particular, the numbers of Lebanese tourists is rising, he said, adding that 15,000 Lebanese tourists visited Marmaris in 2013 and 18,000 visited in 2014.
Overall increase in tourist numbers
According to the records of Dalaman Airport, located near Marmaris in southwestern Turkey, 1.65 million tourists in total visited the Marmaris district and its surroundings in 2014.
Özbozda? said this marked a significant increase from all regions.
“There has been an increasing trend in the number of tourists visiting Marmaris. There has been an increase of up to 12 percent in the numbers of tourists coming from Germany, and an increase of 2 percent from Britain, Denmark and Poland. Despite the general economic and political turmoil, the overall increase in 2014 was noteworthy,” he added.