Last Updated 23 mins agoBusy planning your summer vacation? There’s one place in Europe that a lot of people have written off due to recent events, but it’s the perfect time to return — Turkey.
Turkey was devastated by earthquakes in early February, which left more than 50,000 people dead and thousands of buildings destroyed.
But the Turkish people are resilient, and they are ready to welcome tourists again, as tourism is an essential part of the economy.
Despite this, according to a recent report, tourism in Turkey is experiencing a significant slump. Stays of two nights or more in Istanbul are down by 31% compared to the same period in 2019.
Before the earthquakes, Turkish officials had hoped for a strong year, and Turkey was leading the post-Covid travel recovery in Europe. Foreign visitors arriving in Turkey increased by a whopping 80% year-on-year to 44.56 million in 2022.
Since the earthquakes, tourism to the country has taken a nosedive. But in reality, now is the perfect time to visit Turkey. Here’s why:
All The Attractions, Without the Crowds
A sharp decline in visitor numbers may be bad news for the Turkish economy, but it’s great news for tourists planning to visit the country.
This means you can enjoy all the country’s most popular attractions but without the crowds.
There are 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites of cultural significance in Turkey, 4 of which are in the capital city of Istanbul.
The country is home to an astonishing wealth of things to see and do, and during the summer months, these are often overwhelmed by tourists.
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From the famous Blue Mosque to the other-worldly beauty of the Topkapi Palace Museum, it would be near-impossible to enjoy all of Turkey’s best attractions in just one visit.
A decline in visitor numbers to these attractions would provide an opportunity to explore them at your own pace and without the density of crowds that you may never get again.
A Warm And Welcoming People
Much of the Turkish economy is reliant on tourism. Tourism contributes approximately 10% to the nation’s GDP.
And the Turkish people, particularly those working within the tourism sector, are keen to see their visitors return.
That means that those visiting Turkey right now will find a warm and friendly welcome, above and beyond the usual warmth regular visitors have come to expect from the Turkish people.
Those working in the Turkish tourism sector are famously hospitable. And most are welcoming the support of the tourists who continue to travel to their country and support their livelihoods.
Turkey has so much to offer. But as well as the fabulous food and the huge wealth of cultural sites, it is the charming people that tempt repeat visitors back to the country.
Coastal Resorts Were Unaffected
The vast majority of tourists who choose to visit Turkey head to either Istanbul or to the country’s popular coastal resorts. These include Marmaris, Antalya and Bodrum.
These areas were completely untouched by the quake. In fact, the vast majority of tourists in these locations when the quakes took place remained in Turkey and continued to enjoy their vacations.
The epicenter of the earthquake was in the southeastern inland city of Kahramanmaras. This is an area rarely visited by huge numbers of tourists.
Turkey is unlikely to experience the same high-magnitude earthquakes again so soon after the tragic events of February. But it should be reassuring that, even if they do, you are unlikely to be impacted in the main tourist resorts of the country.
Great Value Vacations
Finally, a vacation to Turkey is particularly good value right now.
With occupancy in hotel rooms low, many hotels are choosing to lower their prices to attract guests. Last-minute travelers in particular are finding that Turkey is currently more affordable than ever.
The current depreciation of the Turkish lira also makes Turkey a particularly popular destination for travelers on a budget. This is particularly true for European and American travelers, where inflation is high in their home countries.
Turkey remains an all-around great vacation destination, and right now, it is an affordable one too.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Appeared first on: traveloffpath.com