Antalya dives into tourist season with new submarine attraction

Antalya Governor Münir Karaloğlu made a trial dive with the new touristic submarine “Nemo Primero” in Antalya.

During its inaugural dive, the submarine went 20 meters under the sea near “Rat Island” off the shore of the Turkish Mediterranean city of Antalya.

Governor Karaloğlu along with his wife Sevim and his daughters Elif Meva and Meral Su participated in the two-hour long dive.

During the dive, Governor Karaloğlu said, “In Antalya, we always talk about the diversification of tourism. We are trying to move Antalya towards tourism that isn’t just about resorts, sea, and sand. There is an effort right now to find alternative forms of tourism. We hope that the 2017 season will be much better than 2016.”

Yunus Emre Yavuzyiğit, Sub Marine Turkey General Manager, explained that Nemo Primero was purchased from Finland, but it’s modernization upgrades were performed in Spain. The modernizations took one year to complete and cost between 4.5 and 5 million euros.

The submarine has capacity of 46 people and can operate up to 110 meters under the sea. The electric powered vessle is 18 meters long and four meters wide. It weighs 106 tons and can stay underwater for up to 10 hours.

Nemo Primero is equipped with 22 observations windows that are 80 centimeters in diameter to allow for easy sea viewing, as well as mini-seats to make passengers feel comfortable.

The underwater vessel will officially be available to tourists starting on April 1. The diving cost will be about 200 Turkish lira and the tour will last one hour and 15 minutes.

Number of Russian tourists up by 81.5 pct

The number of Russian tourists to Turkey has increased by almost 81.51 percent in January compared to the same month of the previous year since bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia improved.

Exports to Russia, in the meantime, rose by at least 59.1 percent last month, for the first time in nearly three years, reaching $150 million, while imports the country reached $1.5 billion following a 10.2 percent increase.

In January, some 1 million tourists visited Turkey, 9.81 percent less than the number of tourists that visited in the same month the previous year. According to Culture and Tourism Ministry, the number of Russian tourists increased by 81.51 percent to 40,124 people in January.

Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı, in a statement in January, said the tourism sector, which is experiencing a significant recovery in the Russian market, will have a better year compared to 2016.

Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TYD) Chair Murat Ersoy said that the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey was expected to rise to 5 million this year.

The normalization process that started off with a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin last year bore fruit in improving the bilateral relations between the countries.

According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), Turkey’s exports to Russia increased by 59.1 percent in January compared to the previous month, rising from $94 million to $150 million.

Income from fresh fruit and vegetable exports also increased during this period, reaching nearly $38 million, with the partial removal of a Russian embargo on orange and mandarin. If talks to reach an agreement in order to normalize trade with Russia are successfully concluded, customs and bureaucratic transactions between the two countries will be accelerated and will likely increase total trade volume.

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