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Turkey hopes to attract some 25 million foreign visitors amid COVID-19

Turkey hopes to attract some 25 million foreign visitors amid COVID-19

The representatives of Turkey’s tourism sector hope that COVID-19 vaccines will boost tourism in 2021.

According to Reuters, Turkey’s tourism sector hopes to attract some 25 million foreign visitors this year after a major decline in tourist numbers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourism revenues account for up to 12% of the Turkish economy.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said in late November that the tourism sector was likely to shrink 70% in 2020 due to the outbreak.

Ersoy had said the country was likely to close 2020 with tourism revenues slightly over $11 billion and over 15 million travelers.

He stressed that the 2021 figure is expected to exceed this year but fall behind 2019. “We should target 100% growth for next year at minimum,” the minister said.

On Monday, Turkey reported 13,695 new coronavirus cases and 197 related deaths, bringing the overall tolls to 2.26 million and 21,685, respectively. Ankara has imposed curfews each weekday evening and full weekend lockdowns for more than a month.