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Türkiye's Antalya airport undergoes makeover to boost tourism

2023 Aug 12, 10:41, ANTALYA, Türkiye
A new runway is built at Antalya International Airport in Antalya, Türkiye, on Aug. 10, 2023. (Antalya airport/Handout via Xinhua)

Antalya, a major tourist destination on Türkiye's southern Mediterranean coast, is undergoing a major expansion of its airport to accommodate the growing number of foreign visitors.

The international airport is currently undergoing a comprehensive renovation and expansion project that will double its annual passenger capacity from 40 million to 80 million.

The first phase of the project, which began in January 2022 and is scheduled to be completed in January 2025, includes the construction of a new runway, terminal building, and cargo handling facility.

The project is partly financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which extended in April a 140-million euro loan (153.6 million U.S. dollars) to the airport.

Erdogan Karabacak, project director for TAV Construction, the company that is leading the airport expansion, told Xinhua that the Antalya airport is a "pillar of the country's tourism sector," adding that the project will permit "greater cross-border connectivity between Europe, Asia, and beyond."

The expansion of Antalya airport is part of a larger effort by Türkiye to boost tourism. In 2022, the country attracted a record 42 million foreign tourists, generating 34.5 billion U.S. dollars in revenue. Türkiye is aiming to attract 60 million foreign tourists and generate 56 billion dollars in tourism revenues in 2023.

"We aim to expand the tourism season to 12 months a year, moving beyond just the summer boom. This project can help us achieve that goal," Durdali Savkar, Antalya airport chief manager, told Xinhua.

Finishing the Antalya airport expansion will also lead to new jobs, giving a boost to the local and national economies, the airport manager added.

Tourism is a major economic driver for Türkiye, contributing about 10 percent of the country's GDP and employing about 1.7 million people. 


tourist destination southern Mediterranean coast Foreign Visitors airport Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Erdogan Karabacak Antalya airport tourism revenues
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