Turkish officials have enacted sweeping hikes in the price of admission for museums and ancient sites despite a drop in the number of visitors this year, with some tourism operators worried the rise will further detract visitors.
“The price for the ancient city of Pamukkale was increased from 25 to 35 liras. This rise will detract the people of Denizli from Pamukkale. It will also have a negative effect on tour package sales,” said the head of the Denizli Touristic Hoteliers Association (DENTUROD), Gazi Murat Şen.
The entrance price for Ephesus, Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia have all increased from 30 to 40 Turkish Liras.
One of the five most visited cities in world tourism, Antalya saw a decline in tourist numbers for the first time this year due to the economic crisis in Russia.
For 2016, prices have been increased in the ticket prices of most ancient sites and museums operated by the Turkish Travel Agencies’ Union (TÜRSAB). The rise at Olympos and Side has hit 400 percent, with the five-lira price skyrocketing to 20 liras.
Şen said the rises were inexplicable at a time when the tourism sector needs a boost. “Fewer people will visit museums and ancient sites. These rises should be withdrawn,” he added.
The ticket price increases will go into effect on Jan. 4, 2016, Şen said.