Due to the healthy holiday opportunities and standards of cleanliness, Turkey was the number one choice in 2020 for Ukrainian tourists during the coronavirus pandemic. This was confirmed by a report from the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB) as they revealed that there were 750,000 Ukrainians travelling abroad in 2020, with a huge 560,000 of them choosing Turkey as their preferred destination.
Why take a holiday in Turkey?
Due to the successful introduction of the “Safe Tourism Certification Program” in the middle of last year, nearly all foreign visitors arriving chose Turkey’s Mediterranean resort of Antalya as their city of choice.
The Safe Tourism Certification Program was coordinated by the Culture and Tourism Ministry as well as a lot of other related ministries including the Health Ministry who set out a few measures for various sectors, which included transportation and hotels that were designed to protect the health of visitors and those working in the relevant sectors.
Tourist numbers in Antalya
Thanks to the measures that were put in place, the city of Antalya has continued to be the most popular destination in the region in 2020, with approximately 3.5 million tourists in total arriving to explore beaches and historical landmarks.
The President of AKTOB, Erkan Yagci, confirmed the Ukrainian tourists began visiting Antalya in July 2020 with these numbers significantly increasing through the months of August, September, and October. He also said that new bookings had been made by Ukrainian tourists well into 2021, too.
2020 – the Worst Year for Tourism
In a statement by the WTO, they confirmed that the effect of coronavirus on the global tourism industry was: “More than 11 times the loss recorded during the 2009 global economic crisis.” They have also released a warning stating that there are between 100 million and 120 million direct tourism jobs at risk. In the same vein, the United Nations called 2020: “The worst year in tourism history” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already cost the global industry 1.3 trillion USD in lost revenue.
According to statistics, the COVID-19 pandemic also hit the tourism sector in Turkey. The yearly revenue in 2020 was counted at 12 billion USD, which was a significant decrease of 65% when compared to 2019. The quarterly tourism revenue fell by just over 50% from October – December 2020, due to travel restrictions implemented by several countries during the winter period.
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