Turkey's tourism earnings halve in fourth quarter

Turkey’s earnings from tourism halved in the fourth quarter of last year, the Turkish Statistical Institute said.

Revenue dropped by an annual 50 percent to $3.91 billion, the institute said on its website on Friday. The number of visitors to the country decreased by 58 percent to 4.58 million.

Turkey’s tourism income slumped during 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in March, prompting governments around the world to restrict travel and impose lockdowns on the population. A second wave of the virus struck in the autumn.

Earnings from tourism shrank by 65 percent* to $12.1 billion in 2020, the institute said. Turkey posted a record $34.5 billion of earnings in 2019 and attracted 51.9 million visitors. The number of visitors to the country dropped by 70 percent* to 15.8 million last year.

*The institute did not provide tourism data for the second quarter of 2020, saying that it could not conduct surveys at the border due to pandemic restrictions.