Turkey Hopes for Bumper Tourism Numbers in 2021
Following a decline in Tourism numbers, due to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, Turkey’s tourism sector is hoping that the country’s declining coronavirus cases, coupled with the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine, will attract around 25 million foreign visitors to the Turkish holiday hotspots during 2021.
A recent report from Reuters states that, although it may “take up to two years for Turkey to return to pre-pandemic tourism figures, the country hopes to attract 25 million tourists during 2021”.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Ülkay Atmaca, head of the Turkish Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD), Sururi Corabatir, said he believes that Turkey’s swift action to limit the spread of the virus early on has helped boost early bookings. He added that “the healthy and safe holiday opportunity Turkey offers to tourists has reflected positively on 2021 reservations”.
The number of foreign visitors to Turkey in 2019 was 45.06 million, bringing in around $34.5 billion in tourism revenue. In the first 11 months of 2020, the number of foreign visitors arriving in Turkey was just 12 million, a drop of 72%.
The head of the Turkey Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED) declared “We need to reach a target of 25-30 million in 2021. 2021 is the year of crawling and standing up. 2022-2023 will be the year of running,” He reiterated that the most important factor towards recovery will be vaccination, followed by a decline in the number of coronavirus cases in both Turkey and the countries who send tourists to Turkey.
The reported number of new cases of Coronavirus in Turkey has dropped significantly in recent weeks, following stricter lockdown measures, with just 7,103 new cases reported yesterday, whilst the countries vigorous vaccination programme, backed by a new delivery of the coronavirus vaccine, has now reached those aged 75 and over.
Positive Signs from the Turkish Auto Industry
Despite all the obstacles faced by the automobile industry worldwide, during a year overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Turkish Automotive Distributors Association (ODD) report that the year ended with positive results
The report showed that passenger car sales rose by some 57.6%, year on year, to reach 610,109 units, with almost 162,679 light commercial vehicles were sold in the year, up 77.2% from 2019.
Conversely, reports show that European car sales declined throughout the year, with a drop of 12.5% in November, as measures to restrict a second coronavirus wave hit demand in the continent’s largest markets. In the biggest EU countries, where sales were down every month except September, year-on-year sales crashed by 27% in France and by 18.7% in Spain, while the drop was more limited in Italy and Germany, where sales fell by 8.3% and 3%, respectively.
As for Turkey, demand for automobiles increased steadily, starting in early June after low-interest loan packages for new and used passenger vehicles were introduced by public lenders. This boosted sales before interest rates started to rise.
Due to the high demand coupled with global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, car dealerships across the country reported limited vehicle stocks. The supply shortage lasted until the end of the year.
Easy Turkish Tourist Visa Application for Pakistan– Revised January 2021
Pakistani visitors to Turkey, who hold an ordinary passport, are required to obtain a visa in advance of their entry to Turkey.
After completing the online premilinary application form at https://www.konsolosluk.gov.tr/ visa applications should be made through an authorised Visitor Application Centre (VAC) at Anatolia VAC in Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi.
- Visa Application Form – completed online, printed and signed by applicant.
- Passport/Travel Document – valid for at least 6 months from your arrival in Turkey
- Copies of all pages of any recent previous passport
- 2 x Biometric photos, 5cm x 5cm with white background
- Travel health insurance certificate, covering a minimum 30,000 Euros, to cover the period of stay in Turkey and repatriation costs if necessary
- Polio vaccination certificate (for Yellow Fever and Typhoid). Certificate should be less than 1 year old and be issued by Government hospital or approved laboratory
- Flight reservation
- Original letter of invitation, stamped and authorised by the Turkish Notary Public.
To give strenth to your application, it is advised that the applicant obtains a letter of invitation, which should be submitted to the Turkish Notary Public by Turkish citizen.
The letter should include details such as: reason for visit, nature of relationship between the visitor and the invitor; full name, date of birth, address and phone number of the Turkish citizen; address where the visitor will stay
In the event there is no letter of invitation, the visitor also needs to provide:
- Confirmation of hotel reservation
- Employment letter (if relevant)
- Bank statements covering the previous 3 months
- Supporting documents related to the visitor’s reason to return to Pakistan, ie business, property etc
- Letter of consent from the visitor for verification of submitted information
There may also be additional required documents if the visitor is a student, person under 18 years of age etc.