COVID-19: IS IT A DISASTER FOR TOURISM IN TURKEY?

Abstract

Author(s): Hac? Ahmet KARADA?

Covid-19, which started in China and spread to the rest of the world in a matter of months, is demanding us to keep distance with other people and not leave the region (or even home) because of its high contagion rate. The tourism sector, which is became helpless against Covid-19, like all economic sectors, collapsed in the first half of 2020. Turkey, which had 34.5 billion dollars tourism revenue from 52 million tourists in 2019, has also been negatively affected by the pandemic process as well as all over the world. In this study, in order to examine Turkey's dependence on tourism sector and to have knowledge about the possible impact of the Covid-19, an econometric analysis was conducted using the variables of GDP, tourism revenues, number of tourists and the ratio of tourism revenues to exports for the period of 2004:Q1-2019:Q4. According to unit root tests results, all variables were stationary at level except GDP and there were structural breaks in all variables. As a result of the Gregory-Hansen structural break cointegration test, it has been observed that tourism revenues have a positive effect on economic growth while the number of tourists has a negative effect. Therefore, in order to overcome the pandemic period with the least damage from tourism sector, the positive effects from the expected decrease of the number of tourists should be kept absolutely larger than the negative effects from the expected decrease of tourism revenues.

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