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Turkey's first submarine trips aim to revive tourism


International reporter BB News I

Turkey is an extremely popular destination for tourists from all around the world and is highly favored for its culture and health care tourism. Its large number of historical sites and the many resorts that dot the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea coasts are attracts travelers from across the world. This glorious country straddles two distinct continents of Europe and Asia on either sides and is a singular example of an amalgamation of diverse cultures.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, is a favorite destination with tourists as it’s a unique combination of natural beauty, ancient architecture and modern marvels. It gained historical status as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and is graced with structures like The Blue Mosque and The Topkapi Palace, while having the unique distinction of having Europe’s biggest mall, the Cevahir Mall which is built on 672,000 sq. ft. land plot. Dotted with more than 500 mosques, Istanbul was found way back in AD 658 and is home to innumerable churches, grand mosques, palaces, bazaars and other natural beauty sights.

Last year, however saw a dip in the number of tourists visiting Turkey as a Russian warplane was shot down on the Syrian border. The Russian tourist numbers dwindled rapidly due to this and so did visitors from other countries. In order to re-build its reputation as a tourist hot-spot and to tide over its regional issues, Turkey has come up with a unique idea. IHS Travel and Touristfly, an Antalya-based firm, is launching a 48-seater submarine that will take tourists on guided tours across the Mediterranean Sea.

The Finnish-built submarine is named “Nemo” and has been renovated in Spain. It will take tourists and the locals 130-ft below the Mediterranean for a 90-minute exciting tour. This bold new initiative is bound to inspire a revival of fortunes for the downward-spiraling tourism industry of Turkey. Yunus Emre Yavuzyigit, the chairman of IHS Travel and Touristfly, is confident of its success and its capacity to ramp up the tourist numbers. This ambitious $4 million scheme has all the makings of a block-buster event and will be a sure-fire hit amongst the visiting population and locals too.

The underwater tours are scheduled to run for 11 months of the year and the company has already thought about expanding these tours in the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea by buying more submarines. This could well become the new lease of life Turkey’s tourism industry needs and going underwater seems to be the route to achieve it.

The submarine weighs 106 tons, is 6.5 meters high and is 20 meters long and it has a total carrying capacity of 48 people. Come April, the Nemo will dip into the sea six times a day for one hour trips and will originate in the southern province of Antalya. The huge submarine has the capacity to 110 meters (360 feet) and can stay submerged for 80+ hours during a single trip. The submarine has been equipped with all the necessary safety devices, oxygen masks and necessary supplies for the voyagers and on-board crew.

Turkey’s tourism industry is waiting with bated breath for this unique experiment to take-off and its success will surely make sure the fortunes of this tourist-friendly country swing in the upward direction. 



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