An­zac mile­stone sets stage for 2015

Travel Bulletin - - ISSUES & TRENDS -

The bat­tle­fields of Gal­lipoli are among the most vis­ited places in Tur­key for Aus­tralian trav­ellers. But 2015 marks a mile­stone of spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance with the pass­ing of 100 years since Aus­tralian and New Zealand troops landed on the beaches of Gal­lipoli and helped to de­fine Aus­tralia as a na­tion. Some 8000 Aus­tralians re­ceived bal­lot passes to at­tend the An­zac Day cer­e­mony on the Gal­lipoli penin­sula, with a fur­ther 2000 tick­ets al­lo­cated to New Zealan­ders. How­ever, hun­dreds more are ex­pected to make the trip to Tur­key to pay their re­spects. No ex­pense has been spared on Tur­key’s part with seven new apart­ment blocks built in Ece­abat alone in ad­di­tion to new roads, shops and sig­nage to cater for the tens of thou­sands ex­pected to de­scend on Gal­lipoli for the oc­ca­sion. Tourism op­er­a­tors have re­ported a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in in­ter­est for Tur­key ahead of the An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tion with all tours sold out well in ad­vance. But with the bal­lot wait list cur­rently stand­ing at around 35,000, op­er­a­tors are also ex­pect­ing a solid in­crease in visi­tor num­bers well into next year and be­yond. Trafal­gar Tours, which has al­most 100 Aus­tralian bal­lot and non-bal­lot guests se­cured on An­zac Day tours later this month, has re­ported a “sig­nif­i­cant rise” in in­ter­est for Tur­key, par­tic­u­larly from guests who want to travel out­side of the ma­jor com­mem­o­ra­tion pe­riod. “Based on the sig­nif­i­cance of An­zac Day we ex­pect the large num­ber of Aus­tralians trav­el­ling to Tur­key to con­tinue to grow in 2016,” MD Matt Cameron-smith told trav­el­bul­letin. “Aus­tralian vis­i­ta­tion num­bers

Aus­tralian vis­i­ta­tion num­bers to Tur­key con­tinue year’ to grow year on

to Tur­key con­tinue to grow year on year and Trafal­gar ex­pects this pat­tern to fol­low in the post cen­te­nary year.” Tempo Hol­i­days, which will op­er­ate two An­niver­sary Pil­grim­age tours this month, is also ex­pect­ing a spike in book­ings for the Lone Pine cen­te­nary in Au­gust. While not as well known as the An­zac com­mem­o­ra­tions, all op­er­a­tors have open­ings for tours to com­mem­o­rate the bat­tles of Lone Pine in which more than 2200 Aus­tralians were killed or wounded by the Ot­toman Em­pire. “Many peo­ple who are un­able to make the An­zac pil­grim­age are tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to head to Lone Pine,” Tempo Hol­i­days gen­eral man­ager NZ Greg Os­bourne said, adding that younger Aus­tralians were also par­tic­u­larly drawn to the re­gion. In line with Cameron-smith, Os­bourne also ex­pects that tourism to Tur­key will see a sus­tained in­crease in the com­ing years. “Peo­ple have a nat­u­ral cu­rios­ity to un­der­stand what went on in Gal­lipoli and to un­der­stand our wartime history,” he said. “We be­lieve as time passes in­ter­est will in­crease as the leg­end re­mains such as in­te­gral part of the Aus­tralian per­sona.” Be­yond Travel has also re­ported a 17.5% in­crease in book­ings for 2015 with the com­mem­o­ra­tions, with na­tional mar­ket­ing man­ager Bryce Cramp­ton con­fi­dent that the media cov­er­age from the An­zac com­mem­o­ra­tions will put Tur­key on the map.

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