Reminding that the tourism industry has lost 4.5 trillion dollars worldwide in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, University of Kyrenia Faculty of Tourism Dean Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altınay said that 2022 will be the year of normalization for the sector.
The sectors that most severely affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, which emerged in the last weeks of 2019 and turned into a pandemic that affected the whole world in a short time, were tourism and aviation. The border closures of countries to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has caused these two sectors, which have grown by feeding each other, to spend the last two years with a big contraction.
University of Kyrenia Faculty of Tourism Dean Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altınay evaluated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector and said that 2022 will be the year of normalization for the sector.
Tourism has been the sector hit hardest by the epidemics
Reminding that various epidemic diseases such as smallpox, cholera, SARS and MERS throughout history have spread to various parts of the world through travels, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altınay said, “The SARS epidemic, which emerged just before the COVID-19 process, caused deaths in Asia, especially in the Far East countries, and reduced tourism activities by 20 percent. For this reason, it is estimated that approximately 17,000 people are unemployed in China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected tourism not only in a particular region, but also all over the world.” Pointing out that the closure of borders has brought international tourism to a standstill in the last two years, Prof. Dr. Altınay said, “Countries have minimized social activities by imposing bans and restrictions on travel, accommodation and entertainment sectors. Together with the curfews, international tourism as well as domestic tourism has been affected negatively evenly “.
The two-year loss of the tourism sector reaches up to 4.5 trillion dollars
According to the data of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the number of passengers carried worldwide in 2020 declined by 60 percent compared to the previous year. In 2021, this decline continued, with 75 percent fewer passengers carried compared to 2019. Figures show that the number of people traveling around the world has dropped to 2003 levels.
Another report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (UNWTO) estimates that the total loss of the tourism sector in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 is 4.5 trillion dollars. In Turkey, on the other hand, it is estimated that COVID-19, together with the effects in the sub-sectors, caused a decrease of approximately 100 billion dollars in the gross national product. The data of the TRNC Statistical Institute reveal that the tourism sector in the TRNC shrank by 35 percent in 2020.
Passenger numbers are on the rise again
Saying that in 2022, a softer course occurred in terms of the epidemic compared to the first two years of the pandemic, University of Kyrenia Faculty of Tourism Dean Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altınay emphasized that the number of passengers, which emerged in the first quarter of the year, are raising again. Reminding that the number of foreign passengers arriving in the TRNC in January increased by 926.6 percent compared to January 2021, Prof. Dr. Altınay said, “Although it is not proportionally as high as the TRNC, the number of international passengers has increased significantly all over the world. The continuation of this upward trend shows that the tourism and aviation sectors will heal their wounds and normalize in 2022.
TRNC’s strengths in tourism should be promoted better internationally
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altınay said that ” Although the COVID-19 process has survived with the least damage to the public health and order in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, with the measures taken, the country’s tourism has suffered from this process.,” Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altınay determines that the international marketing activities for the promotion of the tourism potential of the TRNC are still insufficient. “Cyprus offers natural beauties with attractive factors such as sand and sun in the Mediterranean; Our strengths are that it has hosted various civilizations since ancient times, has a great historical and cultural heritage, that the island has been serving young people and their families from various countries for educational purposes for years, through our universities, and that the private and public sectors provide world-class services in the field of health. “
University of Kyrenia trains qualified individuals demanded by the industry
Stating that the University of Kyrenia, established in Kyrenia, one of the most important tourism destinations of the TRNC, provides education in accordance with international standards in order to increase the number of qualified workforce that will provide service to the sector, with the departments and vocational schools affiliated to the tourism faculty. Dr. Mehmet Altınay said, “As University of Kyrenia, we train professionals who will shape the tourism sector not only in our country but also in many parts of the world with our international students.”