Turkey's Antalya readies for Eid al-Adha holiday amid pandemic
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ISTANBUL - Turkey's Mediterranean resort province of Antalya has been getting ready for the upcoming nine days of the Eid al-Adha holiday, which will start on Saturday, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to press reports, around 10 million Turks are expected to travel within the country and will generate over one billion US dollars in this period. Turkish authorities earlier extended the Eid al-Adha festival to nine days, which is officially scheduled between July 20-23.
Antalya Governor Ersin Yazici said on Friday that all the accommodation facilities in the region, having 680 000 beds in total, are fully booked during the next nine days.
Yazici called on travellers to come with a valid reservation, or "they might have trouble finding accommodation," the Hurriyet daily reported.
Seasonal tourism activity has significantly gained momentum in Antalya after Russia lifted its flight ban at the end of June.
The governor said the province has been receiving 48 000 to 50 000 foreigners from abroad per day, mainly from Russia, and has so far hosted over 2 million foreign tourists in total.
"During the upcoming holiday, we hope to see around 70 000 to 80 000 daily entries via the city's airport," Yazici was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Erkan Yagci, head of the Union of Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers and Operators, warned sector representatives against the increasing daily Covid-19 cases in Antalya.
Besides, Yagci was quoted by the online news portal Turizm Ajansi as saying "compliance with the coronavirus-related rules at the highest level should be our priority."
Antalya has recently seen a sharp increase in daily coronavirus cases. According to the latest data from the health ministry, the number of Covid-19 cases seen in every 100 000 people has increased by 82 percent between July 3-9, compared to the previous week.
The region, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country, hosts hundreds of accommodation facilities with long sunny beaches and many ancient archaeological sites.