The Akdamar Island located in eastern Van province has drawn more than 160,000 visitors in 2019, an official said. Akdamar, also called peace and serenity, is a prominent destination in belief tourism with a medieval Armenian church and crystal-clear water of Lake Van surrounding the island with a natural landscape. Muzaffer Aktuğ, provincial director of culture and tourism, told Anadolu Agency that there is a surge in number of visitors since 2018. 'Around 157,000 people visited the island in 2018, while the number has risen to around 162,000 people as of Aug. 31, 2019,' Aktuğ said. He added there goal is to attract at least 200,000 visitors by the end of the year. Bahar Ibrahimi, an Iranian tourist, said she and her family visit Akdamar every time they come to Turkey. 'We love the historical and natural beauties of Van,' she said, adding the people are very hospitable.