If you’re looking for reasons to visit Turkey, and the news has become a source of fear we would like to take this moment to put in our two cents and encourage you to freely book a tour to this fun and culturally rich vacation destination. This list is being compiled by a long-term American expat living in Turkey for over eight years. I live in a city of over 1.5 million people on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. When watching the news it is easy to reduce a country down to the tragic events of a few locations but it is important to also weigh out the benefits and examine the entire body of evidence when deciding whether to book that all inclusive private, custom tour of the country or to visit some other destination this summer.

So, for those of you waiting for my top ten reasons why you should visit Turkey in 2016 here it is:

  1. Reduced crowds at POI – You are certain to get the best and least disturbed visit to Turkey that has been available for years. The political moves by both Russia’s and Turkey’s governments have made Turkey an unlikely destination for many Russians this summer. Much of this is due to national bans imposed by the Russian oligarchs. So, in visiting Turkey this year you will help support a U.S. allies economy against Russia and the potential return of the Cold War. With visitor numbers down you’ll get better pictures of your group and have a more relaxed view of all the important sites. Plus who could complain about a shorter line to the restroom?
  2. Reduced hotel prices – With the reduced demand the prices are dropping on some very nice hotels. We deal with the best hospitality service providers in the country and they have all made marked decreases in their prices which allow those of us not dealing in bulk sales to make the best of an economically difficult situation and get you, the consumer, the best price.
  3. Turkey’s Continued Culture of Hospitality – The already famed Turkish hospitality, will be all the more improved when you come in as a financial savior and sympathizer to the present Turkish plight. This only ingratiates you, the visitor, more to your Turkish hosts and conveys a trust in their humanity. Ultimately, you will find that travel in Turkey, despite current terrorist activities against the Turkish people, is safe and friendly for all Western visitors.
  4. Major Expos and Venues at Reduced Prices  – One such example is the Antalya 2016 Expo which is reducing its prices and allegedly bringing in superstar performers like Madonna, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez to help revive sales and increase interest in the event.
  5. We’re Still Here – There are many reasons to worry about travel abroad. The greatest dangers come upon those who travel with a target on them. Those who invite danger and communicate superiority. If you’re intending to travel with this attitude then there is no place in the world where you will be safe. The best way to travel in comfort is always with an experienced guide. We hand pick the best of those guides and offer the best in private tours. If you’re concerned about travel abroad the good news is we’re still here providing excellent private and custom tours.
  6. Brand New Museums and Parks – Turkey continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in developing better historical museums, parks and travel infrastructure. Regions of Turkey that you are unlikely to visit have even seen a huge revamp in developing amazing archeological museums. Much of the planning for these museums took place before the recent events in Syria but the Museums still stand well furnished and full of beautiful pieces of antiquity.
  7. New Direct Flights  – Turkish Airlines is offering new direct flights from major cities around the US. Houston, Miami, L.A., New York, Atlanta and Chicago all fly direct to Istanbul and rumors have it that Antalya will be a new direct flight hub for those looking to visit the tourism capital of Turkey.
  8. Reduced Ticket Prices – With a general hesitancy to travel many airlines are being forced to reduce their prices and welcome travelers looking for a deal. This is the year to get a great deal on overseas travel.
  9. Turkey’s Great Wealth of History – Among the many reasons to visit Turkey its wealth of history should be near the top. The home to the Tigris and Euphrates  – the Cradle of Civilization – and the meeting point of East and West is a must visit. If current trends continue to worsen this will be the best chance you have to visit the country. The threat is still greater that you’ll be accosted on the streets of New York City or shot in Chicago then you would be the victim of terror in Turkey. Common tourist traps are recorded and statistics regarding travel safety in Turkey kept at Turkey Travel Planner.
  10. The Greatest Weapon Against Fear is Knowledge  – You’re doing the research now and finding reasons to visit Turkey. The food culture and history are all major contributing factors to a great visit to Turkey but if you’re still afraid, remember the first-hand experiences you’ll have this year in Turkey will aid your sense of wellbeing in the world, and give you a greater perspective on world politics for many years to come.