Cappadocia breaks tourism records in 2019

Hot air ballooning Cappadocia

According to official data, Cappadocia played host to 3.7 million tourists between January and November last year. Due to the visitor numbers, the region exceeded the 3 million tourist figure for visitor numbers for the first time ever.

Why travel to Cappadocia?

Cappadocia has been listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage published list since 1985. There are numerous things for tourists to do which could be a reason for the increased numbers. From the natural rock settlements, world famous fairy chimneys, historical rock-cut monasteries, and even underground settlement areas. There are various boutique hotels to make your stay unique and the opportunity to take tours in a hot air balloon. The Gereme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia took the top spot with regards to tourist numbers which stood at 1.4 million at the end of October last year.

Hot Air Balloon tours in Cappadocia

In the first eleven months of last year 559,618 tourists enjoyed a hot air balloon tour in Cappadocia. In January 2019, 11,210 visitors took to the sky at sunrise to take in the fabulous sites from Goreme and surrounding areas. The numbers peaked at 77,767 in September 2019 but fell slightly in November to 50,100. Balloon tours were responsible for yearly contributions of 33 million Euros in 2016, 43 million Euros in 2017, 70 million Euros in 2018 and 43 million Euros in the first six months of last year.

Tourist facilities

The Chairman of TURSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies) and BTK Cappadocia Regional Chapter Executive Board, Talip Aldemir confirmed that the facilities in the area provide expert, qualified tourist services and as such make a significant contribution to the economy nationally.

When asked, Aldemir went on to say: “The continued stability in Turkey has brought Cappadocia tourism to this point. We have hosted more than 3.5 million tourists. Hot air balloons in Cappadocia also make a positive contribution to tourism.”

Aldemir also confirmed: “One out of every six tourists who come to the region had the opportunity to watch the region from a bird’s eye view. Early reservation demand has reached 60% before 2020. We expect much more intensity during the next tourist season. All-inclusive systems like the coastal areas do not work here. Here we focus on offering better quality and revenue generating services.”

Tourist numbers in Cappadocia

The President of the Goreme Tourism Development Cooperative, Mastafa Durmaz confirmed that he expected tourist numbers to the region to end near at almost 4 million in 2019. Durmaz said: “Cappadocia is a unique place on earth. Travellers now want to see natural, cultural and historical sites. It has proven the Turkish tourism is not only about the sea and sand. Cappadocia’s importance is growing exponentially.”

Data provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry shows that 2.7 million tourists visited the historical sites and museum in Cappadocia in the first eleven months in 2014. This number dropped to 2.5 million at the same time in 2015. 2106 saw 1.4 million tourists to the area, this number increased to 2 million in 2017 before reaching their highest visitor number in 2018 with 2.8 million in total.


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