The city and province of Antalya is proving an ever-growing hit with foreign tourists, but in particular Russians, after new figures showed an increase in the number of tourists there during the first seven months of 2014 compared to last year.
According to the Antalya Culture and Tourism Provincial Directorate, between January and July, the number of tourists visiting the southern Turkish holiday hub rose by 3.63 per cent compared to last year, reaching a total of 6.735 million.
One in every three tourists arriving in Antalya during this period, namely 2.1 million, was from Russia – last year this figure was 1.8 million. Germans ranked second after Russians, with 1.417 million visitors to Antalya in the same period, slightly down on last year (1.424 million).
Antalya province is home to the colourful city of Antalya, as well as the popular resorts of Kalkan, Belek, Side and Alanya. The province holds the world record for having the highest number of “Blue Flag” certified beaches in a given area. No less than 197 beaches and six marinas in Antalya have been awarded a Blue Flag, a voluntary eco-label issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education to beaches and marinas with high water quality, cleanliness and environmental standards. Antalya’s regional Blue Flag coordinator Lokman Atasoy said the city’s aim was to sustain the quality of the certified beaches and increase the number of beaches that deserve a Blue Flag.
Antalya has the second busiest airport in Turkey, after Istanbul Ataturk, with connections around the world, and also is one of the busiest airports in the whole of the Mediterranean.