Alanya, a popular tourist destination in Turkey with a population that swells to almost a million in the summer months, is witnessing a significant increase in domestic tourist numbers in recent years.
This trend has brought smiles to the faces of local tourism industry representatives, as domestic vacationers have been supplementing the regular influx of tourists from Europe and Russia during the peak season. The president of the Alanya Tourism Operators Association, Burhan Sili, stated to an AA correspondent that the district boasts approximately 650 establishments with a capacity of 200,000 beds.
This capacity equals 30% of Antalya’s capacity and 10% of Turkey’s total capacity. Sili noted, “On average, 180,000 people are accommodated in hotels. This number sometimes reaches 200,000. The number of vacationers reaches 500,000 with people vacationing in second homes and day-trippers.”
Sili highlighted the significance of the domestic tourism market, the country’s most critical market, acting as a lifebuoy during times of crisis. He emphasized the importance they place on the domestic market in Alanya, saying, “With the extension of the holiday, the weight of the domestic market in tourism has been felt. We have felt this in Alanya. We received requests from our guests with our facilities that cater to all segments and our wide hinterland. Currently, 30% of our facilities are filled with the domestic market, and 60-70% are provided from our foreign source markets.”
Sili also underscored the benefits of having facilities catering to all income groups and a broad market. He mentioned the growing interest in Alanya from the UK market. He continued, “With the domestic market’s mobility, we are having a full June and July. We hope that we will continue in the same way in August. Our fundamental problem is that we can only see one or two weeks ahead. Unfortunately, the earthquake disaster we experienced this year halted demand in all source markets, including the domestic market. The subsequent election period maintained stagnancy. We couldn’t get much demand in early reservations, but we are trying to close this gap with last-minute reservations.”
The president emphasized the importance of the domestic market, stating that the holiday understanding of the domestic tourist is changing as years go by. Sili said, “We try to provide the necessary facilities for citizens to go on holiday by increasing prices at the rate of costs. The domestic market has reached a capacity that can be benefited from in line with the country’s opportunities. The rate of local tourists coming to our district, which used to be 10-15%, has increased to 30%. Processes such as camping, holidaying in second homes, have now given way to holidaying in facilities more.”
Eray Erdem, President of the Alanya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also stated that the holiday culture of the Turkish people is gradually increasing. Noting that the preference of local tourists to go on holiday abroad has also increased, Erdem said, “This will increase even more in the upcoming period. Because we have a population of 85 million. I think it was low so far. I think it is returning to normal now.” He stressed that the contribution of the domestic tourist to occupancy in the short term is good. “We are in a period of high season seasonally. Prices are currently high, and the contribution of the domestic tourist is good, but it still remains low compared to the guest coming from abroad when we spread it over the year,” he said. (AA)