MUGLA, Turkey 

Turkey’s vacationing hotspot Bodrum is set to host foreign tourists as the town’s mayor expects three times more international arrivals than in 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

As preparations for the tourist season pick up steam, the southwestern Turkish tourist destination hopes to receive three times more tourists this year.

“We’re getting a positive response from Russian and Ukrainian tourists this year,” Mayor Ahmet Aras told reporters in Bodrum, highlighting that he expected at least two to three times more foreign tourists this summer.

Bodrum, where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean Sea, is also a tourism hub for Brits, Germans, Belgians and Polish and Dutch people.

Featuring picturesque natural environments, stretching blue sea of all shades, modern and well-equipped yacht marina facilities, 3,500-year-old historical sites and beautiful sandy beaches to relax under the sun.

“Bodrum is a place that makes you fall in love and you want to visit this source of happiness and tranquility over and over again,” said Aras, expecting tourists from all countries to continue to choose the seaside town as their holiday destination this summer.

Luxury tourism in Bodrum

As Turkey never fully closed its border since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the town expects to open the summer season in June at full capacity.

Despite a fall in domestic luxury tourism revenues across the globe last year due to the pandemic, Aras said Bodrum enjoys an upward trend in welcoming more high-net-worth individuals.

The town is one of the best tourism destinations in Turkey and is ready to offer luxury tourism services, he said.

“Bodrum is full of boutique hotels. You can’t find multi-story hotels with 1,000-bed capacities. All of our hotels are boutique-type hotels. Where you can get distinct, unique and exclusive service,” said the mayor.

Bodrum has all elements of luxury tourism — safe and personalized hotels, flexible travel options, customized and private tours, unique experiences and smooth travel, he noted.

“This isn’t a town where you have to rush, running here and there. This also isn’t a town where you just close yourself into a big hotel compound. You can live a luxury daily life here. You can feel the natural beauty, walk through the streets, engage with locals, walk along the beach roads, rent yachts, have short or long boat tours.”

Bodrum is a top destination for local tourists as well, Aras underlined. “We received more local tourists in 2020 compared to previous years … If you visit Bodrum, you’re sure to fall in love with this town.”

Indian weddings in Bodrum

Bodrum is also a popular destination for Indians in yearning for an unforgettable wedding ceremony.

“Despite the pandemic situation, we hosted six big wedding ceremonies from India. We’re in talks with several organizers to secure more such big wedding ceremonies this year and the coming years.

“We also expect more tourists from the Pacific region.”

Bodrum airport operates direct flights to 38 countries, mostly from Europe.

“Now, we expect some international direct flights from the Asia-Pacific region because we believe that direct flights will bring more luxury tourists,” he noted.

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