Tourism plays a vital role in Turkey's economy. The country has incomparable Mediterranean resorts, oriental elements, and geographical features that tourists fondly visit. Aside from breathtaking landscapes, Turkey is also known for its athlete-friendly culture as it gains public support for both national and international sports events. The country has hosted different types of sports through the years. They hold pride in having nearly 2,000 courts in just one city. Antalya invested in building high-quality sports facilities suitable for practice matches to live events. It is enough reason to attract local and international sports clubs and solo athletes.
Lamentably, the tourism industry suffered from unprecedented economic impact due to COVID-19. Foreign visitors in the country dropped down by 75%, and Turkey lost more than $20 billion in tourism revenue. The tourism sector expressed its inspiring optimism about the upcoming distribution of vaccines in the first half of 2020.
China's Sinovac trial in Turkey showed the highest efficacies among all clinical trials of the COVID vaccine across the globe with a 91% rate. The mass vaccination program will start this month, and the tourism sector believes it is the first step to help the industry recover.
The number of cases in Turkey continues to go down. The Public's coordination to curfew hours and precautionary measures is commendable. Turkey pushes through the opening of about 90% of its tourist facilities. It includes resuming sports club activities and travel plans amid the plans of vaccine distribution. Several cities came up with new projects as an alternative scale for tourism. The Culture and Tourism Ministry of Turkey expects more foreign visitors to come in April. Though reaching 2019 figures is impossible given the current situation, the Minister anticipates a progressive outcome after mass vaccination.
As per the Head of Turkey’s Sports Tourism Association, Recep Samil Yasacan, they already accepted reservations for the first quarter of 2021. Most inquiries came from football clubs in different countries, like Croatia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Serbia, Uzbekistan, and Romania. Turkey's tourism sector awaits for the EU to lift the travel ban. Stricter measures will depend on the global health situation, given that the virus transforms into a new variant in some nations.
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