Turkey ranked 4th on world tourism list in 2021
Turkey has risen to the fourth rank on the world tourism list after hosting some 29.9 million tourists in 2021, leaving Italy and the United States behind, according to a report by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
“Some 421 million people traveled the globe as tourists in 2019. Nearly 30 million tourists were in Turkey,” Recep Yavuz, the head of the Tourism Work Group of the city council in the southern province of Antalya, told Demirören News Agency on March 29.
According to his evaluation of the report, France leads the list with some 40 million tourists.
Mexico is runner-up with 31.9 million tourists, while Spain sat in the third rank with 31.2 million.
With an increase, Turkey left Italy, which hosted 26.3 million tourists, in the fifth rank.
Then came the United States with 22.1 million, Greece with 14.7 million and Austria with 12.7 million tourists.
Germany is ninth on the list with 11.7 million tourists, while Croatia hit the bottom of the top 10 with 10.6 million visitors.
“Due to the pandemic, around 1 billion people could not travel,” Yavuz said. “Fareast and Asian countries felt the harshest blow of the pandemic.”
China, the center of the pandemic, was the fourth tourist country in 2019, with some 65 million travelers.
“China has been erased from the tourism map,” Yavuz stated.
Thailand was another Asian country witnessing a nosedive. The country that hosted 40 million visitors in 2019 was down to 53rd rank in the list, with only 400,000 tourists in 2021.
Thanks to the normalization process, tourism revived in Europe in 2021 and the western Mediterranean countries finished the year with a slight loss in tourism revenues compared to 2019, when the world was unaware of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Yavuz, the biggest winner of 2021 after Turkey was Mexico. “Mexico was seventh in 2019 and third in 2020. The country reached number two in 2021,” he said.
Yavuz highlighted that Mexicans living in the U.S. and the American tourists preferring to visit the neighboring country increased the tourist numbers of Mexico.
Yavuz underlined Spain witnessed a sharp nosedive in the number of tourists in 2021, losing some 50 million tourists compared to 2019.
Greece was another country on the losing side as the country, which had targeted 25 million tourists at the beginning of 2021, could reach only 14.7 million by the end of the year.
“With the latest data in the report, we see that Turkey’s share in the global economy was around 7 percent in 2021,” the expert underlined.