Turkey maintains tourism targets for 2021
Despite the impacts of recent forest fires on its Aegean and Mediterranean resort towns, Turkey still hopes to host 25 million foreign visitors this year, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said on Aug. 6.
“There has been no change in our targets of 25 million tourists and $20 billion in revenues,” Ersoy said after a meeting with tourism sector representatives in the southwestern resort town of Marmaris.
“At the end of July, we reached the figure of nearly 12.5 million visitors, including foreign tourists and Turks residing abroad,” he added.
The performance of tourism operators and firms in the upcoming months will be decisive, the minister said.
He stressed that the Turkish government would first focus on saving and protecting the natural beauties, forests and turquoise waters of Marmaris, which has been traditionally an attraction point for British, German and Russian tourists.
“Our priority is to write a new story of Marmaris, which is Turkey’s one of the oldest and important tourism areas,” Ersoy said.
Turkey hosted 16 million foreign tourists last year, marking a 69 percent decline from 2019, when the country raked in nearly $35 billion in tourism revenues.
Turkey’s tourism income stood at $2.4 billion in the first quarter of this year. In the second quarter, tourism revenues hit $3 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).