Standing at the crossroads of East and West, the majestic Mt. Nemrut in southeastern Turkey attracted over half a million domestic and international tourists in the last five years, an official said on Tuesday.
Located in Kahta in the Adiyaman province, the mountain, towering 2,134-meters (7,001 feet) high, is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its rich history.
Also known as the Eighth Wonder of the World, it is notable for the summit, where several larger-than-life statues of Greek and Persian gods are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the first century BC.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mustafa Ekinci, the provincial head of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, said Mt. Nemrut is the apple of Turkey's eye.
"In 2019, we reached the highest number of visitors in the last 30 years... We could not respond to the demands from April to October due to the insufficient accommodation and bed capacity," he said.
"We hope that people who haven't been out during the pandemic will take a tour in the second half of this year."
He said the view here during sunrise and sunset is breathtaking, which is often immortalized by climbers through photographs. The site is now a national park.
Mt. Nemrut attracted some 50,000 tourists in 2016, 100,000 in 2017, 130,000 in 2018, and 200,000 in 2019. Due to restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, only around 50,000 tourists could visit the heritage site in 2020.