Virus measures to back tourism recovery in 2021: Expert
Turkish tourism can catch up to pre-pandemic levels if the country continues measures enhancing trust and confidence for tourists, according to the former secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
"Turkey is doing very well. If Turkey continues to transmit trust and confidence to the visitors, it may catch pre-2020-rates before the end of 2021," Taleb Rifai, who is now secretary-general of the UK-based World Tourism Forum Institute (WTFI), told Anadolu Agency.
Noting that coronavirus-related travel restrictions caused the tourism sector to collapse, Rifai said even if borders opened, people will not start traveling immediately due to "trust and confidence perception".
Rifai highlighted that vaccination will have a positive impact on the perception despite its efficacy being questioned.
"It will depend on how successful are governments in promoting safe vaccines and the vaccine's success rates," he noted.
Touching on Turkey's success in dealing with the crisis in the 21st century, Rifai underlined the importance of strong political will and belief for the resilience of the tourism sector.
"It is about everyone in the world. It is not about competition but rather coordination and good management," he added.
Rifai stressed that the world will not return to the "good old days" in the short-run.
"We will go back to sustainable growth maybe by 2022," he said.