KARABUK, 31 January (BelTA - Anadolu Agensy). - Turkiye's historical city of Safranbolu, which played a significant role in the caravan trade of the late Middle Ages, hosted 1.15 million tourists in 2021, 23 times its population.
UNESCO views the city as one of the best-preserved 20 cities across the world and tourists flock there to see the Ottoman-era caravanserais, baths, mosques, fountains, bridges and houses.
With a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Safranbolu draws both local and foreign tourists.
The past two years have seen a steep decline in tourists as a result of the pandemic, but with the normalization process things are improving.
Sebnem Urgancioglu Erguder, the president of Safranbolu Tourism Operators Association, said about 165,000 visitors stayed in the city in 2021, up by nearly 40% compared to 2020. This figure does not include tourists who came on day trips from nearby cities.
"I hope we do not see another (COVID-19) variant. People are fed up with staying at home for two years. We are keeping our hopes up for 2022 with high expectations," she said. "We are expecting a huge (tourism) boom."