ANKARA: Due to the popularity of Turkish dramas in recent years, the flow of Kuwaiti and Arab tourists has increased in major Turkish cities such as Istanbul and Ankara. Nevertheless, with the advent of social media and online blogs, such tourists had widened their horizons, seeking leisure in other regions of Turkey.
Despite the tragic earthquake, which hit southern Turkey, Kuwaiti and Arab tourists made it a point to venture off usual destinations in the country and sought mostly nature and cultural experiences over the usual travel experience. Speaking to KUNA, several Kuwaiti and Arab tourists said that destinations such as Sapanca, Antalya, Bursa, and others were becoming more interesting to them.
Sara Al-Enizi, a Kuwaiti tourist, said that Kusadasi-a town on the coast of the western Aegean Sea-was heavily featured in social media coverages, which drove her interest to explore. She affirmed that the detailed tour of an account of Snapchat had helped her navigate Kusadasi easily, making her enjoy the experience without a hitch. Similarly, Kuwaiti tourists Ahmad Al-Kanderi and Dalal Al-Mulaifi owned the success of their visits to Sapanca and other cities to a coverage by a Kuwaiti blogger.
They both said that social media play a role in choosing their vacation destinations in Turkey. On his part, Egyptian tourist Al’a Mohammad said that he wanted to spend his honeymoon traversing several cities including Antalya. He attributed this decision to social media, saying that it opened his eyes for more possibility to enjoy his time in Turkey.
Lebanese tourists Mariyam Majdi said that she spent her vacation in Turkey at the beach, noting that she had unforgettable experiences in Islands such as Buyukada, Marmaris, and Alanya. While the opinions of tourists are worth the mention, the initial seed put by social media account and blog owners are as worthy to explore. Abdulrahman Mousa Mohammad-owner of an Instagram account dedicated to tourism in Turkey-affirmed that his passion for traveling, especially to Turkey, had drove him to document his experiences to benefit other fellow travelers.
He indicated that his account offered all vital information on travel to Turkey from transport, hotels, and various tips and advices. He mentioned that Kuwaiti tourists were attracted to Bursa for tourism as well as buying real estate, adding that Sapanca was also on the top of the list due to its mesmerizing nature in addition to boredom, where most Kuwaitis head there for relaxation.
Mohammad, however, warned of fake media accounts that lure tourists with low prices and great accommodations with the end result being a miserable travel experience. The number of Kuwaiti tourists between January and July of last year had reached 279,000, second place in terms of Arab tourists visiting Turkey. Despite the recent devastating 7.7 and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes, tourists are still flocking to Turkey, but staying clear from disaster areas. – KUNA
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