The economy of the city is based on agriculture, agricultural commerce and industry.
The main agricultural products are seedless Sultana grapes, wheat, barley, cotton, tobacco and maize. The fertility of the region’s soil also allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Cherries known as the Napoleon breed grown especially in the villages of Allahdiyen and Gökköy and the potatoes locally known as Bozdağ potatoes are particularly famous.
Stockbreeding is another source of income for rural inhabitants, of rising importance especially in the last decade.
The recent building of Salihli Organized Industrial Zone (in Turkish Salihli Organize Sanayi Bölgesi), extending over an area of 111 hectares in a triangular zone between the close district centers of Salihli, Alaşehir and Kula, became a great opportunity to provide new employment opportunities in the region and accelerate the pace of industrialization.
Smaller industrial enterprises are concentrated in Salihli self, where there are 32 brick works and tileries drawing on the region’s rich reserves in raw materials for bricks, 2 flour mills, 2 valonia oak factories, 10 cotton gin factories, 2 grape operating works, 1 feed grain factory, 1 industrial tube factory, 1 tomato dressing factory, 2 olive oil mills, 2 beverage factories, 1 water bottling factory, 1 mineral water company and 1 emery rock factory.
The remains of Sardis, which notably includes the Lydian King named Giges’s tomb, the Artemis Temple and a Marble Court with Gymnasium built by the Romans, as well as other historical vestiges are widely visited by tourists, nationally and internationally.
To the 5 and 14 km (9 mi). south of the town, there are lead and mud baths named Kurşunlu Kaplıcaları, which are famous across the region. These thermal springs are visited especially to treat rheumatic disorders, sciatica, lumbago, arthritis, neuralgia, orthopaedic disorders, several skin diseases, some gynecological conditions and kidney disorders. Moreover, a recent geothermal energy production project intends to use these thermal sources and provide heating for the city of Salihli.
There are also many excursion possibilities around Salihli. ‘Bozdağ’ summits and the Lake Gölcük located near the top of one of the summits at a very high altitude is an area of great natural beauty, as well as a prized ski resort in winter. The restaurants and cafes situated on the hills around Bozdağ offer a beautiful overview of Salihli.