The historic city of Safranbolu in Turkey, which played an important role in the late medieval caravan trade, welcomed 1.15 million tourists, or 23 times its population in 2021.
UNESCO considers Safronbolu one of the 20 best preserved towns in the world and tourists flock here to see the caravanserais, baths, mosques, fountains, bridges and houses from the Ottoman era.
Safranbolu, a typical Ottoman town in northern Turkey that has protected its historical architectural character, attracts local and foreign tourists, with a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The past two years have seen a sharp drop in tourist numbers due to the pandemic, but with the process of normalization things are looking up.
Şebnem Urgancıoğlu Ergüder, president of the Safranbolu Tourism Operators Association, said around 165,000 visitors stayed in the city in 2021, up nearly 40% from 2020. This figure does not include tourists who came on day trips from nearby towns.
“I hope we don’t see another variant (COVID-19). People are tired of staying home for two years. We keep our hopes for 2022 with high expectations,” she said . “We expect a huge boom (in tourism).”