Analysts assessed the possibility of Turkey’s closure of borders

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The closure of Turkey to tourists this year due to the situation with the coronavirus will largely depend on the decisions taken by the authorities of the countries from which travelers are sent there. This was announced to Izvestia by the chief analyst of the Alor Group of Companies Alexei Antonov on Friday, April 9.

“Whether the Russian authorities will take such a step is actually a controversial question,” he said.

In early April, the Turkish Ministry of Health reported that tens of thousands of cases of infection with British, South African and Brazilian strains of COVID-19 were detected in the country. Virologists advised Russian tourists not to go there.

“Despite the fact that there is indeed a serious increase in the incidence in Turkey, it is believed that the country, on its own initiative, will” close “for foreign tourists with great difficulty,” Antonov said.

On the one hand, according to him, “closed” Turkey has traditionally made “no alternative for a significant part of Russians” rest on the Black Sea. On the other hand, it is Turkey that feeds Russian tour operators and air carriers in the summer season, and its closure will hit their revenues, and may lead to a situation in which funds from the Russian budget will have to be allocated to support tour operators and carriers.

“So it’s really just a matter of mathematics here, namely, whether the additional income from domestic tourism will cover the costs of supporting industries that will suffer from the closure of borders. As far as I understand, the decision has not been made yet, and the authorized bodies are limited to oral interventions, ”Antonov added.

In turn, Alexander Gushchin, director of the ACRA corporate ratings group, told Izvestia that viral diseases are traditionally growing in autumn and spring, and a similar situation occurs with COVID-19. However, at present, doctors “know a lot more about the virus than a year ago,” so states may not decide to close borders or stop air traffic.

“If the decision to stop air traffic between the Russian Federation and Turkey is nevertheless made, then, most likely, it will be temporary and after stabilization of the situation closer to summer air traffic can be resumed,” the expert said.

Gushchin added that for airlines the “most sensitive” would be a prolonged ban on flights to Turkey between June and September, which is the main tourist season. If this happens, then “it will significantly slow down the recovery of the segment of international air transportation and may affect the entire aviation market.”

As of April 9, according to the Worldometer portal, more than 3.68 million cases of coronavirus were registered in Turkey during the entire epidemic. More than 2.23 million patients have fully recovered, at least 33 thousand people have died.

On April 5, guide and expert in the field of tourism development Arseny Aredov told Izvestia that trips to Turkey, where an increase in the number of detected cases of coronavirus is currently recorded, is extremely dangerous. According to him, if a tourist falls ill with COVID-19 while in this state, he will have to be treated at his own expense. He also admitted that due to the spread of this infection in the country, the closure of its borders is possible.