Some 1.9 million tourists visit Cappadocia


NEVŞEHİR

Some 1.89 million people visited Cappadocia, the historic region of central Anatolia famous for its fairy chimneys, this year, according to data from the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism.

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The region, whose number of visitors did not exceed 100,000 in the first two months of the year, welcomed 133,166 visitors in March, 247,459 visitors in April and 477,757 visitors in May.

The number of local and foreign tourists, which reached 381,761 in June, peaked this year at 479,860 in July, the management said.

The total number of visitors in the first seven months of the year soared to 1.89 million, up 121 percent from the same period last year, when Cappadocia welcomed 854,449.

According to data provided by the management, Zelve is the site that attracted the highest number of tourists, 111,810. Other top sites include Goreme Open Air Museum with 108,744 tourists and Hacıbektaş Archeology Museum with 95,300 tourists.

They were followed by the ruins of Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu and Özkonak with a total of 129,253 tourists, while the area’s Karanlık (Dark) and El Nazar churches welcomed 19,211.

Other sites in Cappadocia visited by tourists during the mentioned period were Ürgüp Museum, Ancient City of Sobesos, St. John’s Church in Gülşehir, Tatlarin, Mazı and Hacıbektaş Atatürk House.

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While 1.95 million local and foreign tourists visited Cappadocia during the same period of 2019, the number of visitors in the first seven months of 2020 fell to 419,905 due to the pandemic.

The monthly figures obtained in July were the highest in the last four years for which the management announced its data.

In 2019, a year before the start of the pandemic, when there was a huge tourist demand, according to people in the industry, 393,728 tourists visited Cappadocia in July, while the historical and tourist centers of the region welcomed 370,534 visitors in June 2021.

Cappadocia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a historic region located within the borders of six provinces of Central Anatolia, known for its fairy chimneys, formed from sedimentary rocks and ignimbrite deposits that have erupted from ancient volcanoes about three to nine million years ago.

The area is also known for its unique volcanic cones, valleys, underground cities, boutique hotels and rock-hewn houses, as well as churches, chapels and shelters used by early Christians fleeing the Roman Empire.

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