BURSA – İhlas News Agency
Turkey’s northeast Bursa province, already a popular destination for Arab tourists, is aiming higher following Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that Turkey’s travel ban due to the coronavirus had been lifted.
Traders from various sectors hope that Saudi visitors, who will start arriving in July to join the thousands of tourists from Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai already visiting the city, will reinvigorate the local economy.
“Following the lifting of the travel ban, bookings have started and occupancy rates are currently quite high. We expect 2022 to be a productive season for tourism. We are taking concrete steps in this regard,” said Murat Saraçoğlu, senior official of the Travel Agents Association of Turkey (TÜRSAB).
He added that Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that send the most tourists due to its position as the most populous country in the Middle East.
Emphasizing that tourists do not find it attractive to see the same mountain or waterfall again and travel the same route, Saraçoğlu said: “We, as tourism professionals, have determined new routes with public bodies. We also provide travel agencies with information on these routes.
From this period, we started to promote rafting in Orhaneli district. We also organize visits to floodplain forests.
“In addition to buying dresses, shoes and gold, Arab tourists also want to taste the flavors of Bursa. As the Turkish Lira weakens against foreign currencies, Turkey has started to be preferred more,” Saraçoğlu said, adding that every tourist adds great value to the economy.
Wealthy Arab tourists generally prefer the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, while those who come with family prefer Bursa, Yalova and the Black Sea region, Saraçoğlu said.
“A lot of tourists are renting or buying houses,” he said. “However, for us tourism professionals, it is best for visitors to stay in hotels.”