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10 Million Set to Travel for Extended Eid Holiday

by CiCi
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An estimated 10 million people in Türkiye are poised to embark on journeys during the upcoming nine-day Eid holiday, a sector representative has reported.

While the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, traditionally lasts four days, this year’s extension to nine days has spurred widespread travel plans across the nation.

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Firuz Bağlıkaya, head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), revealed that out of the 10 million travelers, around 3 million are planning vacations, while the remaining 7 million will visit hometowns to celebrate with family and friends.

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The tourism activity during this extended holiday is expected to generate an economic volume of 100 billion Turkish Liras (approximately $3.1 billion), according to Bağlıkaya.

This year’s Eid holiday coincides with the end of the school year on June 14, marking the beginning of the “high season” for the tourism industry. This timing is likely to contribute to a nationwide surge in tourism.

Bağlıkaya noted a sharp increase in domestic vacation sales as the holiday nears, with hotel occupancy rates in popular Mediterranean and Aegean resorts already exceeding 80 percent.

Additionally, there has been a significant rise in interest in cultural tourism. Cultural tour bookings have surged by over 40 percent compared to last year’s Eid al-Adha period, Bağlıkaya highlighted.

“Prominent destinations for cultural tours include the southeastern province of Mardin, while Sapanca remains a popular choice for those preferring to stay close to Istanbul,” Bağlıkaya stated.

Interest in overseas travel among Turkish holidaymakers is also notable, though challenges with obtaining Schengen visas have shifted preferences towards visa-free countries.

Bağlıkaya pointed out that securing Schengen visa appointments has been problematic due to high demand, and increasing rejection rates pose additional hurdles.

Despite these issues, international travel interest during the holiday period has risen by 50 percent compared to the same period last year, Bağlıkaya mentioned.

“Turkish Cyprus is the top choice for holidaymakers, with visa-free Balkan countries being popular for beach vacations. Additionally, Sharm El-Sheikh and other Egyptian resort areas are drawing considerable attention,” he said.

“In the Middle East, Dubai remains a favored destination. Those who have visas are showing interest in tours to Spain, Italy, the Benelux region, and Central Europe,” Bağlıkaya added.

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