Participating in the "City and Tourism" panel organized by Akdeniz University Faculty of Tourism and Antalya City Council, Osman Ayık, Tourism Consultant for Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, stated that the city's biggest problem is social transitions and warned, "If this population growth continues, we cannot sustain tourism in Antalya."

Ayık, emphasizing that sustainability is a popular concept in today's world and should not be reduced only to the environmental dimension, stated that sustainability consists of three elements: environment, social development, and economic returns. He said, "Sustainability needs to be supported by these elements. All these sustainability concepts are on the shoulders of local governments. There is a traffic load of over 15.5 million in the city. Considering Antalya's population of 2.5 million, local governments bear a serious burden. However, local governments are not involved in the city's culture and tourism planning. We must now identify this. Planning is done by the ministry and public administration. Local governments do not participate in decision-making when legal regulations are made. We prepare regulations and plans, but we don't make the decisions. Local governments cannot stay out of this."

"If the population increases, we cannot do tourism" Emphasizing the importance of Antalya in the tourism sector by saying, "This city carries 70% of the country's overnight stays," Osman Ayık stated, "However, this city has a carrying capacity. It is predicted that Antalya will reach a population of 5.5 million by 2035. I'm telling you, if the population of this city reaches 5.5 million in 2035, we cannot do tourism here. Yes, this city has problems, but I think the biggest ones are social transitions. Cultural changes and confrontations are happening here. The natural threshold of the city is being pushed. Uncontrolled migration is causing cultural erosion and the problems in social transitions I mentioned. Migration to Antalya needs to be controlled. Places like Antalya should be governed by special laws."

"Tourists want to gain experiences beyond holidays" Ayık, expressing that incoming tourists want to gain experiences beyond holidays, stated, "There are definitely shortcomings on the part of local governments as well. It is necessary to think about different experiences in the city because tourists now want to gain experiences beyond holidays. Lately, we have been trying to achieve this with festivals and events, but other things need to be done as well. Another thing that needs to be done at the local government level is lifestyle. Tourists want to experience the standards they live in their own countries here as well. Roads, sidewalks, environmental arrangements, and events are important in all of this. The most important of all is accessibility. While all these are being done, the tourist's access must also be provided. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense. Announcements need to be made, information needs to be provided, and roads need to be organized. We have not been able to bring together both these elements and the concept of the city with the local people. In the future, we need to refer to this the most."

Editor: Mehmet Güneli