Turkey welcomes back tourists, hopes to recoup losses

ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — Clean rooms, full pool, distanced loungers: Hotels in Turkey’s Antalya resort region, popular with foreign holidaymakers, are preparing to reopen after Russia’s lifting of flight restrictions to Turkey. While many Turkish businesses suffered during the pandemic, tourism has been clobbered. In 2019, it brought in $34.5 billion and nearly 52 million visitors. In 2020, visitors dropped by 69% and revenues were down to about $12 billion, according to the tourism ministry. The fear of another missed season has prompted the Turkish government to exclude tourists from what they called a “full lockdown” for Turks.