The Mediterranean city has attracted tourists from more than 60 countries so far this year.
Turkey's southern resort city, Antalya, has kept its title as 'the most popular Mediterranean destination' for the second consecutive time after hosting the highest number of visitors in the region.
Although the tourism industry has been hit harshly across the world because of the circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the city with its 680,000-bed capacity in 10 months hosted 8.6 million tourists.
Moreover, Antalya has attracted tourists from more than 60 countries with most coming from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Poland and the UK.
Talking to Anadolu Agency, Erkan Yagci, chairperson of the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers’ Association (AKTOB), said "Turkey’s tourism industry has demonstrated to the world the possibility of safe tourism even under pandemic conditions."
In order to ensure the safety of tourists, a collaboration between Turkey’s Culture and Tourism and Transportation ministries, ‘The Safe Tourism Certification’ was launched last year.
It covers a wide range of safety measures: from transportation and accommodation to health conditions for tourists and hospitality employees alike.
The certificate, issued by international certification institutions, validates the execution of strict health and hygiene requirements at airlines, airports, and other transport facilities, as well as in accommodation outlets and food and beverage venues.
'A world leader'
Yagci said the aim is to reach the reach 9 million tourists mark this year, adding that the region had a much better season than last year.
He noted that Safe Tourism Certification Program played an important role in this success.
“By the end of September, Antalya hosted twice as many tourists as Spain's Mallorca, which we regard as the strongest competitor. While the islands hosted 3.5 million tourists, we saw the arrival of 8.5 million visitors,” he said.
Ulkay Atmaca, head of Turkey's Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD), said that tourism flow to Antalya continues although the season has ended, adding that 2022 reservations signal for a better winter season.
“Antalya is on the way to becoming a world leader,” he said.