Asian tourists taking cultural tours in Antalya, ecological tours in Isparta

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With culture on offer in Antalya and outdoor activities available in Isparta and Burdur, tourists from East Asia are increasingly flocking to southern Turkey for holiday opportunities.

Intrigued by natural and archeological artifacts, tourists from South Korea, Taiwan and China are taking part in activities such as collecting roses, cherries and berries in Burdur and Isparta, visiting Yörük tents and participating in village house tours.

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Some 295,000 tourists per year from South Korea, China and Taiwan visit Turkey to learn more about cultural, ecological, archeological, folkloric and commercial sites and artifacts.

South Korean tourists have been gravitating toward tours of archaeological sites that include everything from Xanthos on the border between Antalya and Muğla to the Ancient Theater of Aspendos, as well as eco-tours to nearby Isparta and Burdur.

“Unlike Russian, Scandinavian and European tourists, South Korean tourists don’t have a proclivity for a sea, sun and beach kind of holiday. They are more interested in natural life, villages, Yörük life and a quality time in nature. In that sense, Antalya is a very preferable place. Having a lot of historical sites, the Mediterranean resort attracts Asian tourists who come mainly to Istanbul. For Asian tourists, Burdur and Isparta are very enticing sites to visit. South Korean and Taiwanese tourists can collect cherries in Ağlasun after visiting the Ancient City of Sagalassos,” said Dr. Myung Hee, an SSR Tourism Holiday Agency Korean Tourist Guide and Archeological tourism specialist.

In addition to that, the head of the Manavgat Trade and Chamber of Industry, Ahmet Boztaş, said that as part of extending tourism to all 12 months of the year, he has been promoting tours for South Koreans so that they acquire a greater awareness of cultural and archaeological artifacts.

In the lake district of regions of Isparta and Burdur, there are many fields overflowing with different kinds of roses. Every year in May, June and July, the region brightens with a soft pink color, signifying the time for the rose harvest, when special kinds of roses are picked for the perfume industry.


During the harvest in the morning, young and old people pick roses in the fields before the petals are processed in distilleries to make rose oils.