Istanbul becomes popular destination for solo travelers: survey

Istanbul becomes popular destination for solo travelers: survey
A tourist feeds seagulls at the Bosporus Strait in Istanbul, Türkiye, Feb. 2, 2023. (Xinhua/Shadati)

ISTANBUL, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — Istanbul, Türkiye’s largest city, stands out in a recent survey as one of the most desirable travel destinations for solo travelers.

The city ranked third in 2023 on the “top 20 European cities for solo travelers list” released by the Hungarian-based airline company Wizz Air in January based on Tripadvisor reviews.

“Istanbul boasts a stellar 67 percent approval rating from tourists, earning it a five-star rating. Restaurants, in particular, received an outstanding 71 percent excellence rating,” said the report.

This photo taken on Dec. 22, 2022 shows the Bosporus Strait in sunset glow in Istanbul, Türkiye. (Xinhua/Shadati)

Culture Trip, an online travel guide, commented in an article that Istanbul has a strong tradition of hospitality and that solo travelers do not need to feel alone.

Another travel platform, Istanbul Tips, stated that the city takes the security of its visitors seriously, which ensures that tourists can explore the city with peace of mind.

Naim Naim, a traveler from Sudan, came to Istanbul in early January for an eye operation. He was surprised to see how caring the Turkish people were, including the hospital staff who looked after him.

“The way Turkish people treat you is very nice, and I feel as if I am in my own country,” Naim told Xinhua.

Visitors take a ferry at the Bosporus Strait in Istanbul, Türkiye, Dec. 22, 2022. (Xinhua/Shadati)

According to Nalan Yesilyurt, owner of Demco, a tourism and travel company, such hospitality is certainly one of the reasons driving the increase in foreign tourists coming to Türkiye.

“Hospitality is one of our outstanding characteristics,” Hamit Kuk, chief adviser to the president of the Turkish Travel Agencies Association, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

“Turks do not care about the identity, race, or religion of visitors, but always welcome them as guests of God,” he said, noting such hospitality has created a unique understanding of service in the tourism sector.

People enjoy leisure time on the bank of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, Türkiye, March 27, 2023. (Xinhua/Shadati)

Omer Turan has owned a Turkish delight (a traditional Turkish dessert) shop in the historical peninsula of Sultanahmet in Istanbul for 40 years.

In his view, Turkish hospitality is already embedded in the DNA of Turks.

“My customers are like my family,” Turan told Xinhua.

“I have many regulars who visit me whenever they come to town, and new travelers say they would come back and thank me for making them feel so welcome,” he said.

Stretching across Europe and Asia, Istanbul is the most visited city in the country by foreigners, hosting 16 million tourists during January-November in 2023, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute data.  

Source link