In a recent meeting with the Tourism Writers and Journalists Association (TUYED), Antalya Metropolitan Mayor and mayoral candidate Muhittin Böcek emphasized the non-political nature essential for the growth of tourism.

The meeting saw the presence of Antalya Metropolitan Municipality's advisors Cem Oğuz, Osman Ayık, and Lokman Atasoy, as well as Songül Küçüközkaya, the head of Press and Public Relations. Mayor Böcek highlighted the significance of tourism for Antalya and shared insights on both current and future projects.

"We are well aware of the importance of tourism"

Recalling Antalya's global and European rankings in tourism, Mayor Böcek stated, "We are well aware of tourism's importance for Antalya. In the last five years, we faced numerous challenges including the pandemic, earthquakes, and fires. Despite these, Antalya continued its efforts unabated, particularly with the Safe Tourism Certification Program during the pandemic. As the Metropolitan Municipality, we've focused on significant events and organizations, putting excuses aside and continuing our work."

"Connecting tourists with the city"

Mayor Böcek further detailed infrastructure improvements, "Thanks to agreements between the Ministry of Tourism and Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, we are constructing wastewater treatment facilities. We have financed these projects in Belek and Kemer, prioritizing Antalya and its future over politics. We are also extending the rail system to Konyaaltı and Kundu, benefiting both our residents and connecting hotel guests with the city."

"Serving 25 million people"

Mayor Böcek pledged ongoing support for Antalya's tourism, noting the city hosted 16 million foreign tourists last year. "Including local visitors and our population, we reached 25 million people. Despite our population of 2.696 million generating revenue, we serve 25 million. It's crucial to note, major European tourist destinations implement a city tax. We seek such measures to further benefit Türkiye and Antalya, emphasizing the need to view tourism beyond politics."

"The importance of proper funding"

Referring to the EXPO 2016 venue, Mayor Böcek highlighted financial mismanagement, "EXPO 2016 has become a sore point. Despite promises, only 49 countries participated. The site now lies dormant, with the Metropolitan Municipality having invested significantly in access infrastructure. Correct financial management is vital. Over five years, we completed 182 projects out of the 77 planned, through judicious spending."

"We are all part of this chain"

Mayor Böcek, aiming for re-election, promised to continue significant projects, with tourism as a priority. "Tourism employs over 300,000 in Antalya. We are all part of this ecosystem. Our efforts for Antalya will naturally benefit tourism."

"Ready for collaboration"

TUYED President A. Haluk Özsevim expressed gratitude to Mayor Böcek for his hospitality and affirmed TUYED's readiness to collaborate with all parties contributing to Türkiye and Antalya's development.