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Holidays in Turkey set for more growth

[February 6th 2009]

Brits looking for good value holidays this year are set to make Turkey an even more popular destination.

In 2008 Turkey became the UK's favourite package holiday destination for the first time, overtaking Spain. This year Turkey is set to benefit further from its position outside the eurozone as the weakness of the pound against the euro and dollar prompts holidaymakers to look beyond the traditional holiday favourites.

The latest tourism developments in Turkey, including new hotels, festivals and sporting events are being showcased at the Destinations holiday show at Earls Court London from now until February 8th.

A host of new hotels are opening in Turkey this year, confirming the growing popularity of the country as a holiday destination. The Hilton Dalaman Golf Resort & Spa is set to open mid-year and is in a tranquil location beside its own private, blue flag beach but just 15 minutes from the airport at Dalaman.

Opening this month, the Mardan Palace is 10km from Antalya airport and overlooks the beautiful shores of Lara Beach. This 560 room hotel is a member of Great Hotels of the World and its extensive facilities include one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in the world.

Chosen by Forbes magazine as one of the best 15 bays in the world, Akyarlar Bay is the setting for the new Kefaluka Resort opening in April. At the base of a mountain overlooking the stunning bay, the Kefaluka Resort has 370 rooms and 14 luxury suites, 95% with a sea view. The hotel will offer 'Ultra All Inclusive" accommodation with an emphasis on service.

Istanbul's growing status as a city break destination is likely to be enhanced in 2010 when it becomes European City of Culture. Preparations are already underway for the year long celebration. This month the Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy is opening in the city. The new hotel is only eight minutes from Ataturk airport and is next to Atakoy marina and the sea bus terminal. It is also well located for exploring the city, being just 10 minutes from Sultanahmet, the cultural and tourism highlight of Istanbul, and 20 minutes from historic Taksim Square.

One of the biggest events in Turkey this year will be Sunsplash Antalya, a week long music festival. Major DJs and artists set to appear at Sunsplash include Gilles Peterson, Norman Jay and Jamie Lidell. The festival is centred around Hillside Su, one of the hippest hotels in Turkey situated on a bleu flag beach.

Turkey is continuing to invest in its tourism infrastructure. Some 36 million euros are being spent expanding Ataturk airport in Istanbul, including new airport parking and passenger boarding bridges.

Written by: Nick Purdom