Turkey’s Cappadocia hosts over 440,000 visitors in Q1

By Behcet Alkan

NEVSEHIR, Turkey (AA) – Turkey’s world-famous scenic Cappadocia region attracted 440,686 visitors in the first quarter of 2019, reaching six-year peak.

Cappadocia is famous for its unique “fairy chimney” volcanic cones, valleys, underground cities, boutique hotels and houses carved into rocks, churches, chapels, and shelters used during the early years of the Christian faith.

It also allows tourists to enjoy a bird’s-eye-view of the historical sites with hot air balloon trips.

The region, located in Central Anatolia’s Nevsehir province, is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism figures revealed that the number of tourists visiting Cappadocia surged 14.5% year-on-year in January-March period.

In the three-month period, the top three touristic sites in the region were Goreme Open Air Museum, Kaymakli Underground City, and Derinkuyu Underground City.

Mustafa Durmaz, head of the Goreme (a historical town in the region) Tourism Development Cooperative, said Cappadocia saw one of its busiest seasons in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the past years.

“The active period through the end of 2018 gave hints that the intensity would continue this year,” Durmaz said in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.

Durmaz noted that sector representatives made all preparations in advance to provide high quality of touristic services.

“In this period, Cappadocia hosts foreign visitors mostly from the Far East and Europe,” he said.

He said as soon as the weather becomes warmer, the current accommodation capacity will reach its limits.

Durmaz also said the student groups across Turkey should prefer day-trips to visit the region in the spring months, as there is an accommodation shortage due to the high hotel occupancy rates.

 

QUARTERLY TOURIST NUMBERS OVER THE PAST SIX YEARS
PERIOD 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
January 92,879 91,956 45,960 44,532 102,540 123,244
February 111,577 117,541 55,840 51,405 110,289 128,955
March 175,257 155,066 80,362 72,541 172,033 188,487
TOTAL 379,713 364,563 182,162 168,478 384,862 440,686

 

* Writing and contributions by Muhammed Ali Gurtas from Ankara

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