Turkey aims to generate $24 billion (TL 288.34 billion) income from the tourism industry this year, the country’s culture and tourism minister said Thursday.
The country is expected to welcome 29 million foreign tourists this year, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said at the 11th International Resort Tourism Congress in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.
The revision of tourism targets stems from better-than-expected tourism figures for November and December, he said.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), Turkey’s tourism revenues in 2020 totaled $12.6 billion, a 65.1% decline from the previous year, amid the coronavirus-related travel restrictions and fall in demand.
Last year, the country attracted 12.7 million tourists, falling by 71.7% from the previous year.
Meanwhile, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the southern resort city of Antalya, dubbed Turkey’s tourism capital, continues to be the most popular tourist destination in the Mediterranean, hosting the highest number of tourists in the region.
Antalya hosted 8.6 million visitors in 10 months with its 680,000-bed capacity. The province has attracted tourists from more than 60 countries, mostly from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Kazakhstan, Romania, the Netherlands and the U.K. with relaxed travel restrictions.
Touristic metropolis, Istanbul also hosted 5.8 million tourists in the first nine months of this year, already surpassing the numbers achieved throughout 2020.