This winter season it is set to attract both local and foreign tourists, especially those from Russia, Ukraine and Poland, Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) Chairperson Firuz Bağlıkaya said Tuesday, adding that some tour operators have already planned charter flights from the countries.
Bağlıkaya told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the charter flights are mainly planned for the winter resort towns of Erciyes and Palandöken in the central Turkish province of Kayseri and eastern Erzurum. Other ski towns are also seeing high demand from abroad, namely Uludağ in Bursa, Kartepe in Kocaeli province and Kartalkaya in Bolu province in the country’s northwest.
He said, despite the figures standing at slightly less than in previous years, the demand for winter tourism is set to pick up the pace.
“Turkey stands out in terms of the winter tourism,” Bağlıkaya said, adding that as long as there are no further problems related to the pandemic, charter tours are scheduled to start Dec. 18 and will continue until March-end.
“Uludağ Ski Center, which mainly attracts domestic visitors, is now seeing demand from Russian and Ukrainian tourists. Last year, some 350,000 visitors stayed at Uludağ, and it hosted a total of 1.1 million visitors along with the one-day visitors,” he said, emphasizing that Palandöken Ski Resort, located on Palandöken Mountain in the eastern province of Erzurum, reached 80% occupancy last winter season thanks to bookings from Russia and Poland.
“As of Dec. 27, two charter flights will be made weekly from Moscow to Palandöken,” he added.
Palandöken’s slopes are the longest and highest in Turkey, situated nearly 2,000 meters above sea level.