Turkish Tourism Boosts Economic Recovery Prospects

On Monday, data showed that the number of foreigners arriving in Turkey in the previous month more than tripled from the same period a year earlier. This strengthened expectations that a rebound in the sector will assist in repairing an economy that has been damaged by a weak currency and high inflation.

Despite the consequences from the conflict in Ukraine, leaders from the industry anticipate that the number of tourists visiting this year will recover to levels similar to those seen in 2019. This will put an end to the decline seen in 2020–21 caused by the coronavirus. According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists arriving from other countries in April increased by 225.6 percent over the same month a year earlier, reaching 2.57 million.

Bodrum is a resort city located in the southwest of Turkey. The city’s mayor, Ahmet Aras, predicted that the number of tourists from other countries will reach 1.5 million in 2019, which would be an increase from the 1.3 million who visited in 2019. Aras predicted that visitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands would return owing to the weakening of the lira. These tourists would compensate for the fall in visitors from Russia and Ukraine as a result of the conflict.

“We have evolved into a destination that is known for its low prices. Not just Bodrum, but also Turkey as a whole, which has once again become a highly appealing destination due to the weak lira “he remarked.

The value of the currency has dropped by one-half over the course of the last year, drawing attention from nations that were previously merely minor sources of tourist revenue for Turkey. According to Piotr Henicz, head of the biggest Polish travel operator Itaka, reservations had increased by a factor of three compared to the previous year. In a single phrase, he referred to it as a “excellent value for money.”

When 45.1 million tourists came from other countries to visit Turkey in 2019, the country’s tourism industry brought in around USD 25 billion, which was still less than USD 34.5 billion. The currency crisis that began late in the previous year and continued into the new year was a big contributor to inflation hitting a 20-year high of 70 percent last month.

Despite the fact that the country’s trade balance has continued to go into the red, the administration predicts that rising foreign revenue will assist maintain the stability of the currency and slow the pace of price increases.

A Comparison of Two Popular Destinations

This summer, Turkey is projected to be the fourth most popular destination in all of Europe, according to a research published by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

However, the war’s effects are felt more keenly in Antalya, which is located to the east of Bodrum and is a key center on the Mediterranean. Both Russians and Ukrainians ranked first and third, respectively, among the country’s most common tourist nationalities in 2017, and they gravitated into this region.

According to Recep Yavuz, the General Manager of NBK Touristic, Antalya is forecast to lose almost three million Russian visitors and one million Ukrainian tourists this year, which would account for approximately two thirds of its total. He said that without Russian tourists, Antalya would not be able to fulfil its capacity of 600,000 beds.

According to Ulkay Atmaca, who is the chairman of the Professional Hotel Managers Association, hotels in Kemer have decided to delay opening for the season until the month of June.

Despite this, the Chief Executive Officer of Nirvana Hotels, Korhan Alsan, said that the nation should achieve 2019 levels if reservations continue to flow in all European regions. Alsan said that he anticipated that Turkey will get tourism earnings of USD 32 billion and welcome a total of 39 million visitors.

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