Efforts are underway to make Pamukkale, where famous actors such as Nicholas Cage shot films, appear more on the big screen and become the promotional face of Turkey.
Famous worldwide for its mineral-rich healing waters and pristine white travertine terraces, Pamukkale and the ancient city of Hierapolis, located in the western province of Denizli, have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1988.
The historic area is now the focus of a new Discovery Channel documentary. Abdurrahman İtik is the cinematographer and Bülent Kaya is the cameraman of the documentary film to be broadcast as part of the “Mysteries of the Abandoned” series on Discovery Science Channel.
In the documentary, İnci Türkoğlu, a faculty member at Pamukkale University, Department of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, explains the historical, cultural and natural features of the region.
Sait Yardımcı, the chair of the Turkish Film Commission, which took part in the organization, said they are trying to promote the unique beauties of Turkey by collaborating with foreign film and production teams and to contribute to tourism.
Stating that this series of documentaries will continue, Yardımcı said, “Our aim is to make Turkey one of the leading film channels of the world. As long as the documentary series continue, I believe that they will make a very serious contribution to the promotion of our country. The past is forgotten after a certain period of time. Documentaries are a reminder in this sense,” he said.
Pointing out that Turkey is located on a much larger treasure compared to other countries, Yardımcı said that Pamukkale is also among the important tourism destinations of the world.
“Pamukkale is one of the indispensable parts of both the movie and TV series industries. One cannot do an Aegean tour without visiting here. When you visit Antalya, if you don’t come here from there, you can’t say that you came to Turkey. There are daily tours to this place. That’s why we attach great importance to it. I think this will not be Discovery Channel’s first documentary and there will be more to come,” he added.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Pamukkale has been attracting domestic and international tourists this year.
In the first nine months of 2021, it welcomed more than 1 million tourists.
Due to COVID-19, and pandemic-related restrictions, last year 620,000 travelers visited the historic site. In 2019, a record number of 2.6 million tourists visited Pamukkale.
Gazi Murat Şen, the head of an organization which represents hoteliers in Denizli, recently said the number of tourists visiting Pamukkale is expected to be 1.2 million in the whole of 2021.
“I am confident that Pamukkale can attract some 3 million visitors next year,” he said.