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Turkey’s tourism struggles to recover from earthquake fallout: report

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Tourism in Turkey is struggling to recover from massive earthquakes that struck the country in February, killing more than 50,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, according to a Reuters report.

The government has relocated survivors to guesthouses and dormitories to allay fears that tourists would not have hotel rooms during the peak summer season. Tourism revenue is critical to the Turkish economy, accounting for about 10 percent of GDP.

Stays of two nights or more in İstanbul are down 31 percent compared to 2019, and a drop in new bookings means less revenue for the travel industry and the economy as a whole. In addition, the upcoming elections are keeping tourists away due to potential disruptions, further delaying any potential recovery.

There is hope, however, in coastal resorts that were not affected by the earthquakes and where foreign arrivals to popular Mediterranean beach resorts were up 54 percent in March compared to a year earlier.

The Turkish government remains committed to achieving its pre-earthquake target of $56 billion in tourism revenue this year.

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