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A Quick Look at Tourism in 2019 and What Awaits in a Past-Coronavirus World for Turkey

Turkey is a unique country in both Europe and Asia with its lovely culture and a large history. The country has 81 provinces, in 7 regions, where the capital Ankara is a city in the central region, called Anatolia. Although the Aegean and the Mediterranean coasts grab the most attention during summer, the cultural and economic center is the megacity Istanbul.


Many civilizations were located in the area that is now Turkey, like the Hittites, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. Many important events in the history of Christianity happened in Turkey, and the country shares borders with many of the Muslim countries. Because it lies in both Europe and Asia, some people see Turkey as the bridge between the two continents and cultures. All this history and wonderful beaches have attracted more than 50 million tourists in 2019. While foreign nationals occupy 45.58 million of this number, it is a clear %14.1 increase from 2018.

Since it is one of the few countries where the four seasons can be experienced all year round, many Turkish cities offer their complete beauty year around. Yet, megacities such as Istanbul are one of the few that enchants the visitor if the weather is relatively colder and windy. As the fall begins and the winter approaches, this 16 million population of a city transforms into a concrete, yet magical jungle. Just like its history, Istanbul has always been a harsh land. It has been through countless battles, conquests, and natural disasters that shaped its skyline. Cities like Marmaris, Izmir, Istanbul, and Bodrum benefit from the history and sea tourism, as well as the vibrant nightlife. 

Falling Currency Boosts the Economy

The lira has been on a fall compared to many of the western currencies since late 2012. At the time of this article, in October 2020, 1 Euro equals 9.26 Turkish Liras, and 1 USD is equal to 7.80 TRY. This huge difference attracts more people to the country every year. You can own the vacation home of your dreams on the beaches of the Aegean Sea in Turkey, rather than spending more in Spain or Italy, on the opposite end of the region. 

You could rent modern homes by Aegean or Mediterranean coasts that are indistinguishable from five-star hotels. If you have saved up more money than a regular vacation, you might find that massive villa in Istanbul or the rest of the country for a much more affordable price than anywhere in the region. In Istanbul nonetheless, you could have your breakfast facing another continent.


This is why Turkey has been attracting nearly fifty million foreign tourists every year. The country and culture offers perhaps the most unique daily experience than anywhere else in the world. Sure, Europe has getaway beaches in the Mediterranean, North America has beautiful natural parks, and Asia is famous for its secluded islands. In Turkey, you can find everything mentioned, and so much more under one country.

A Post-Coronavirus Tourism

It was clear that the coronavirus was about to impact the world in March 2020. It has halved, if not almost fully stopped any personal flights around the globe. Businesses stopped, and people stayed indoors. Turkey went on a secluded lockdown like most nations, and only opened mid-June.

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In June 2020, Turkey was one of the first countries to announce that they would be slowly opening up airport travels with surrounding countries. Global tourism has taken a clear hit. Even if a country's Covid-19 infection numbers are low, not many brave souls wish to take the risk. We also know, by looking at the previous years, that Turkey will keep attracting foreigners in the future. 

Things may continue to slow down for some time. Nothing is certain until a definitive cure is found. Yet, the day after a cure is announced, Turkey will continue to be among top destinations for anyone who wishes to find an escape, or experience history in the present.

For the latest coronavirus statistics in Turkey, you can check the daily updated official Turkish Ministry of Health website, available in both Turkish and English; 

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