By Behcet Alkan
The number of tourists that visited Cappadocia increased around 48 percent in 2017, according to central Nevsehir’s Directorate of Culture and Tourism.
Cappadocia, which lies in Central Anatolia's Nevsehir province, is a tourism favorite with its famous underground cities and houses carved into rocks, alongside its "fairy chimney" volcanic cones.
It also allows tourists to enjoy a bird’s-eye-view of the historic city with hot air balloon rides.
Cappadocia’s museums and archeological sites were visited by more than two million tourists in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to data from the city’s Directorate of Culture and Tourism.
In 2016, the region was visited by more than one million tourists.
The most crowded month of the year was August with more than 320,000 visits.
The most favorite tourist site was Goreme Open Air Museum, and it was followed by Haci Bektas Veli Museum, Kaymakli Underground City, Derinkuyu Underground City and Zelve Archeological Site.
Russia in first ten visitor countries
2017 was a year of recovery for Cappadocia tourism, Cengiz Ekici, Vice-Manager of Nevsehir Culture and Tourism, told Anadolu Agency.
He said the region also started to attract tourists from Russia and the country was listed among the top ten countries, which sent the largest number of tourists to the site.
“Cappadocia is a region that has many activities along with its rich history, culture and nature,” Ekici said.
“We have many visitors from around the world but Russians were the surprise of 2017,” he added.
Ekici also said that he hopes 2018 will be a better year in tourism.
He also noted some preparations for Chinese tourists: “A China street will be prepared in the framework of a project named ‘CappadoChina’ that is coordinated by Nevsehir Governorship, and we plan to draw attentions of tourists who will come from this country.”