Türkiye, a potential “snow globe” of the World, has set about utilize it's potential. Türkiye has started an intensive work program and is increasing the capacity of its World renown ski resorts such as Uludağ, Palandöken and Kartalkaya.
WINTER tourism, generally included among “alternative tourism” policies, is an important tool for countries to increase tourism revenue and extending tourism over the whole year. Türkiye has set out a road map for winter and ski tourism, which has a great potential.
Türkiye, having potential over world standards in tourism, offers touristic services in every way with its natural, cultural and gastronomical values. Aiming to diversify its success in tourism with natural resources, Turkey has speed up the process of its share in winter and ski tourism.
TURKEY, HAS THE POTENTIAL TO COMPETE WITH ALPINE MOUNTAINS
Türkiye's tourism has the potential to be an active touristic zone throughout the year with its unprecedented natural and having four seasons, even though touristic activities cluster at shores of Aegean and Mediterranean seas. While the options besides sea tourism have been listed under the title of “alternative”, Türkiye has started to treat winter tourism like summer tourism, thanks to the recent tourism policies and incentives provided by the state. Turkey, having the means to achieve a successful winter tourism with its natural resources, is trying to get in the competition in winter tourism with the roadmaps created.
Located on the AlpineHimalayan mountain range, Türkiye has extensive mountainous terrains, which have a spot height between 1,500 – 3,000 meters. Mountains in Turkey, such as Beydağları, Taurus Mountains, Balkanlar, Aladağlar, Munzurlar, Cilo and Sat mountains and Kaçkarlar, have been formed at the same time period with Alpine mountain range. Therefore having similar flora even though they extend higher. In consequence Turkey has the potential to compete with Alps.
Türkiye has recently started to consider winter tourism as a strong tourism category, but studies show that with the studies underway and publication campaigns, Turkish winter tourism will be counted among the popular winter destinations.
MASTER PLAN FOR WINTER TOURISM
Türkiye has created a new master plan for zones that have touristic value and added winter tourism to it's “Tourism Strategy 2023” plan. Among the 7 main classifications of “Tourism Strategy 2023”, total bed amount capacity will be increased to 100 thousand in 29 centers in 2023 for winter tourism, from 13,500. Activities to increase the share of ski and winter tourism will put into practice to accomplish this objective.
Extending the period of semester holiday and starting the semester holiday at different periods of time according to seasonal variations is considered as a part of this plan. There are regulations for promotional works underway to add the image of winter among the blue and green image of Turkey. On the other hand, there are studies carried out to create destination administrative supervisions for mountains and ski resorts, such as Erciyes. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism works on on the rehabilitation of regional touristic areas, especially in Central and Eastern Anatolia.
The ministry is presenting incentives to entrepreneurs and investors put the virgin mountains in Anatolia into service. Eastern Anatolia is attracting attention of foreign investors with gastronomy, culture, history and architectural tourism among other touristic values. European and Arab tourism investors are aware and waiting to local winter tourism, which is considered as Türkiye's most profitable sector in the near future.
Türkiye is also considering climate change and global warming while developing a strategy plan on winter and ski tourism. For the security of natural snow safety 2,000 meters is taken as reference on site of establishment for ski resorts. Transportation plans are underway for the resorts that are below 2,000 meters, in order to eliminate risks and preparations for installing meteorological stations for the resorts that need one are being prepared.
There are technologies to be implemented such as, artificial frost depositing, product diversification and cloud seeding to eliminate the affects of global warming caused by climate change. Hotels that lack snow due to global warming are using artificial frosting to maintain the quality and extend the winter season from the beginning of september to end of march.
OCCUPANCY RATE REACHES 100 PCT.
Figures of advancements in the skiing and winter sports reveal that Türkiye could be an important center of winter tourism. Ski centers in Türkiye have almost reached the level of the Alps in terms of quality and price.
Especially Uludağ stands out at this point. On the other hand, it started to show that it is a big competitor in terms of popularity, even though not being in line with the facilities in the Alpines but have already reached the ski resorts in Italy and Bulgaria, costing up to three times.
Ski resorts increased occupancy rate by approximately 80 percent in the last 10 years and increased the number of visitors from 3.5 million to over 8 million people. Resorts operated in full capacity in semester holiday and contributed 1 million liras to economy.
Türkiye have reached the tourist number from summer 2019 in winter tourism. This liveliness of the previous year continued from where it left off in the semester. The demand, which exceeded the capacity of the centers such as Uludağ, Kartalkaya, Sarıkamış, Palandöken and Erciyes, activated the services earlier this year. The density pushed investors to new regions. Investors started to determine road maps especially in the resort ski hotel area. There is also a liveliness in new hotels alongside the resorts of the local and foreign investors which are active