New Archeological Discoveries, Hotels and Air Routes Set to Increase Visits to Turkey, the World’s Sixth Most-Visited Tourism Destination
With new discoveries of ancient communities and cosmopolitan modern cities, archaeologists and travelers alike are unearthing the millennia of secrets that make Turkey the sixth-most visited tourism destination in the world.
The Turkish Office of Culture and Tourism is excited to announce that one of the largest and most complex underground cities was discovered in March 2015 in the otherworldly region of Cappadocia.
This 5,000 year old underground city was unearthed under the Nevşehir fortress. Discovered while constructing new buildings, the underground city is considered one of the largest and most complex underground cities in the region with 3.5 miles of tunnels, secret churches, tombs and safe havens. The multilevel settlement is likely to include living spaces, kitchens, wineries, chapels, and staircases.
The city – estimated to be a third bigger than the previously discovered Derinkuyu – was built to protect residents from invaders, but remains largely unexplored. Early studies suggest the underground corridors may go as deep as 371ft. Millions of years ago, volcanic activity covered the region under several layers of ash. Erosion then created a landscape of rock formations and spires known as ‘fairy chimneys.’
A record-breaking 41 million travelers to the country have discovered the modern beauty of Istanbul and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Göreme National Park – resulting in their listing among the top destinations in the world in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards.
Highlighting how the “breathtaking ancient architecture coexists with modern restaurants and nightlife” where Europe and Asia meet,TripAdvisor ranks Istanbul just ahead of Cappadocia’s Göreme National Park, a town literally carved into the volcanic rock that “houses spectacular 10th- and 11th-century cave churches.”
Turkey Tourism News
· Turkish Airlines this month added San Francisco to its global network – its seventh destination in the U.S. With existing services to Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., and Boston, Turkish Airlines adds flights to San Francisco, which operate 5 times per week.
· Curio – A Collection by Hilton has announced its first property in Turkey, the historic Rumeli Han Istanbul. Dating back more than a century, the landmark hotel will undergo a major renovation and restoration before opening in 2017. Rumeli Han Istanbul occupies a prominent address on İstiklal Avenue, in the heart of the cosmopolitan Beyoğlu district. The nineteenth century building is a short walk from the attractions of Taksim Square and Galata Tower, and has been granted protected status in recognition of its architectural and historical heritage.
· Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide’s award-winning brand of upscale yet affordable hotels, has opened Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Airport. The new hotel provides travelers with welcoming social spaces and high-end amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay at a great value. The hotel also features six meeting rooms offering more than 2,690 square feet (250 square meters) of flexible meeting space, as well as a ballroom of 4015 square feet (373 square meters) which can host receptions with up to 500 people to suit any occasion.
· The luxury property Jumeriah Bodrum Palace Hotel will open May 1. The 135 room property will provide suite-style accommodations, villas and a six-bedroom palace. Ijn addition, the hotel will offer restaurants, lounges, bars, Talise Spa with 12 treatment rooms, high-end shopping and 57 swimming pools.
· SoHo House Istanbul opened its doors to members in April on the European side of the city in the Beyoğlu district. The SoHo House Istanbul was constructed in a 19th-century mansion, Palazzo Corpi, which housed the U.S. Embassy for 100 years, and was originally built as a home for a wealthy shipbuilder.
· St. Regis Istanbul opened March 1 with 118 rooms and will feature the first overseas Spago restaurant by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. The luxury property will overlook the Bosphorus Strait and Maçka Park with floor to ceiling windows for a breathtaking view.
· The JW Marriott Bodrum will open in May will provide 107 modern rooms (including seven villas), a private beach and dock for sailing activities, and a 21,500 square foot spa with a few Turkish baths and two swimming pools.
· The 136-room Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul Golden Horn opened in March on Istanbul’s historic peninsula just 10 minutes from the Old City’s famous historic highlights, 10 minutes from the Haliç Congress Centre, 10 miles from Atatürk International Airport and close to the city’s most important business districts and shopping areas.
· Named after the historic underground chapel at its heart, Chapelle Cappadocia, The House Hotel will open its first phase in June 2015 featuring 29 rooms in a complex of ancient caves and traditional homes. All 45 rooms will be open when the second phase is completed in January 2016.
For more information on Turkey, call 1-877-FOR-TURKEY or contact the Turkish Culture and Tourist Offices in New York at 212-687-2194 or in Washington, D.C., at 202-612-6800, or Los Angeles at 323-937-8066 and visit their Web sites at www.goturkey.com orwww.kulturturizm.gov.tr