While the snowfall has yet to start, people have already started to book hotels in Turkey’s ski resorts for the winter season, with many of these places enjoying a large influx.
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“The snow hasn’t started yet, but visitors are flocking to winter and ski vacation destinations such as Kartalkaya [in the northwestern province of Bolu] and Sapanca, ”said Aytekin Şahinbaş, head of the East Marmara section of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB).
It is not yet the season for skiers, but travelers, who have had to be confined to their homes due to the pandemic but want to enjoy nature, are flocking to these areas, said ahinbaş.
“The demand will even become much stronger once the snowfall starts,” he added.
About 200 local and international agencies have organized tours to the region, said Ahinbaş, adding that it would give much-needed respite to the tourism industry, which suffered from the pandemic during the last winter season.
“Reservations already suggest an 80 percent occupancy rate at Kartalkaya,” said Ercan Güner of the Western Black Sea Section of TÜRSAB. “We expect the occupancy rate to be around 100% during the season. The ski season will start around December 20 or 25. Demand is much higher than expected. It is not possible to book a room in Abant hotels on weekends, ”Güner added.
Nature enthusiasts have started to take an interest in the canyons of Kastamonu province, according to Güner.
Kayseri in central Anatolia, home to the famous Erciyes ski resort, is another province poised to welcome large numbers of tourists.
During the pandemic, the number of foreign tourists visiting Erciyes reached an all-time high, said Murat Cahid Cıngı, president of Erciyes Inc.
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“Erciyes tours have already started to be sold abroad. As was the case in previous years, we will have visitors from Ukraine, Russia and Poland. Direct flights from three Polish cities have started. This year, we are also expecting visitors from Latin American countries, such as Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Brazil, ”Cıngı said, adding that they are also trying to attract visitors from the Republic. Czech Republic, Austria and Finland.
Cıngı also noted a strong interest from local tourists in Erciyes. “The new season will start around mid-December.