Scores of visitors throng Turkey’s resort towns

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Turkey’s resort towns are experiencing an influx of vacationers amid the Eid al-Adha holiday, which was extended to nine days, including weekends, officials have said.

Traffic jams are still ubiquitous on major routes mostly in the Aegean provinces, while scores of people thronged to popular summer destinations to spend the holiday to enjoy sunny weather, sea and beach.

Even though long vehicle lines and traffic congestion at the entrance of small resort towns caused by the holidaymakers annoyed locals, tourism professionals seemed very pleased with this intense interest after having troubled months due to the pandemic.

In the Aegean province of Balıkesir’s Erdek district, a relatively calm resort town lying on the skirts of the Kapıdağ peninsula once again became the center of attention thanks to the Istanbul-İzmir highway, which shortens the time spent on the roads.

While the occupancy rate reached 85 percent in hotels with a total capacity of 10,000 beds, the interest also caused the prices per night to increase. They are now offered to customers in the form of half-board between 200 and 300 Turkish Liras ($23-$35) per night.

In the city’s restaurants overlooking the Marmara Sea, the price of meals, including alcoholic beverages, varies between 175 and 250 liras ($20-$30).

One of the most popular destinations for holidaymakers from the big cities in the west, particularly Istanbul, the Aegean province of Muğla’s Bodrum and Marmaris districts tripled their population due to the influx.

More than 140,000 vehicles entered the district in a week, where the population reached almost 1 million.

But traffic jams are not the only challenge for holidaymakers in Bodrum and Marmaris, since finding a hotel room is almost impossible for thousands who arrived in the resort towns without a reservation.

In Bodrum, where there is almost no place to even step on the beaches, cafes and restaurants, the nightlife seems to have satisfied domestic and international tourists despite the pandemic measures.

The summer season and Eid al-Adha have also brought a wave of domestic and international tourists to the Mediterranean province of Antalya, driven by the gradual lifting of travel restrictions.

Residents and tourists, overwhelmed by the heat, converged on the city’s world-famous Konyaaltı, Lara and Sarısu beaches.

Towards the end of the Eid holiday, millions of Turks are expected to hit the road again to return to their homes.

Hurriyet Daily News

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