Türkiye’s Antalya experiences shortage of drivers amidst tourism boom

Monday, August 7, 2023


The bustling tourism activity in Antalya, a popular tourist destination in southern Türkiye, has led to a shortage of drivers, according to the head of the metropolitan’s Transportation Planning and Rail Systems Department.

The city experienced a significant demand in the first seven months of this year by welcoming a total of 7.3 million tourists to the city via air between Jan. 1 and July 18, according to official tourism data while the officials expect this year’s tourism figures to surpass the pre-pandemic data.

Other than the extended mobility, the shortage of drivers was further exacerbated as some drivers retired because of the pension reform overhaul (EYT) that went into force earlier this year.

To address the shortage and avoid disruptions in public transportation, the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality recently introduced 60 new buses into service, a news agency reported on Friday.

However, this move increased the demand for drivers even more. To recruit some 150 bus drivers, the municipality placed job advertisement boards on pedestrian overpasses and advertisement boards at various locations across the city.

After receiving 600 applications in response to these announcements, 100 drivers were hired, whereas the municipality plans to employ an additional 120 drivers.

Nurettin Tonguç, the head of Antalya Transportation Planning and Rail Systems Department commented on the traffic congestion in Antalya, mentioning that people’s behavior toward public transportation changed after the pandemic.

Tonguç also acknowledged the driver shortage began along with the tourist season, although many drivers from other metropolitan areas, such as Muğla preferred to work in Antalya because of higher tourism income.

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