Tourist numbers and demand for property in the southern Turkish resort of Alanya are expected to record a rise during 2013, thanks to a steep hike in the number of international flights - in particular from northern Europe - arriving at the nearby regional airport at Gazipasa.
By the end of July this year, the number of flights passing through Gazipasa Airport was equal to the total for the whole of 2012, a spokesperson for the airport reported, adding that by the end of 2013 air traffic was expected to show a 100-110 per cent year-on-year increase.
The most recent new route to Gazipasa Airport kicked off from Stockholm in July, operated by Thomas Cook Scandinavia Airlines. In June, Danish carrier Jet Time began flights to Gazipasa from Copenhagen, and in the same month Lithuanian Airlines started flights from Vilnius. In November, German carrier SunExpress will launch new services to Gazipasa from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Leipzig.
“There are now direct flights to Gazipasa from twelve destinations in eight countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania,” said Julian Walker, Director at Spot Blue, which sells property in and around Alanya. “When you think the first scheduled internal flight only arrived there in December 2010 and the inaugural international flight touched down in spring 2011, this ramping up of options is encouraging for tourism and property-owners in Alanya, which is just 30 minutes from Gazipasa Airport. Direct flights might be limited to northern Europe at the moment, but you have to wonder how long it will be before a low-cost carrier launches a UK route there, just as SunExpress will begin doing this winter from Germany.”
At July’s launch of the new Stockholm route, Operations Coordinator at Gazipasa Airport Cengiz Asikli said: “We are very pleased by the direct reciprocal flights from Gazipasa Airport launched by Thomas Cook Scandinavia once a week. Together with our collaboration, we expect Thomas Cook to launch direct flights from other countries to our airport. We will continue to contribute to Gazipasa as well as to the tourism sector of Alanya and our region.”
Most foreign visitors to Alanya, including those from the UK, must fly to Antalya Airport, a 90-minute drive west. Consequently, better flight options to Gazipasa Airport are raising the appeal of Alanya, as well as the resort of Side, around 60 kilometres west of Alanya. The beaches and colourful lifestyle that Alanya offers foreigners are complemented by its year-round balmy climate – one of the reasons it is popular in winter months with northern Europeans escaping the cold of their home countries.
Properties popular with foreign buyers in Alanya include apartments on gated complexes, with a communal pool and within walking distance of the beach, with prices starting at around £40,000 for a one-bedroom unit. Alanya offers a choice of residential districts, including Oba where a one-bedroom apartment is on the market for £47,783.
Meanwhile, in the municipality of Gazipasa, making it less than 30 minutes from the airport, a pretty three-bedroom villa is on the market for £123,700.