30 million Tourists By the End of The Summer Season - That's Our Aim!

Posted On: 16 May, 2021 In Blog

For a country where tourism is responsible for about 12% of it’s economy, which equated to just over $34bn USD in 2019, it’s an industry that just can’t be forgotten about and one that has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourist sites that used to attract around 15,000 daily visitors are now attracting 1000 daily visitors, and the total number of tourists in 2019 was 45 million compared to 2020 when it was a mere 12.7m.

Things are slowly changing however, and though Turkey is currently on the red list, they are hoping that a recent lockdown and a huge upsurge in vaccinations will slow the spread & they can be ‘promoted’ into either an Amber or Green state, which would allow flights to resume and tourists to arrive. There has been much talk over recent months about Turkey’s progress, and the aim is that the beaches, restaurants and cultural destinations will be open again in time for summer, with the aim of attracting 30m tourists by the end of the season.

A sector that has been improving rapidly over the last few years, and one that has received an investment boost is ‘health tourism’. Up by around 25% over the last 5 years ‘health tourism’ caters for those individuals who wish to receive treatment such as dentistry, implants, aesthetics and protheses, and with their advanced technology including advantageous prices, it’s no wonder that people are choosing Turkey over their own native countries. The health tourism target is currently set to around $10bn, and this should be highly achievable with the work that’s going on behind the scenes.

Locally however there is some frustration given that the lockdown doesn’t apply to foreign visitors as long as they can show a negative test on arrival, and whilst tourists are out wandering the streets, seeing the sites and hitting the beaches, the mass populous are indoors under a strict curfew. Those that are essential such as ‘key workers’ are allowed to commute, and some tourist guides have also been allowed to resume, so there is some activity, but nowhere near what people are used to. Though most disagree with the current set up, they do also see that Tourism is important for the economy of Turkey, and however small it’s a positive step in the right direction.

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