The Russians are finally coming but the mayor of this empty Turkish resort doubts their converted rubles will save what looks to be another lost summer.
“We closed the last tourism season down 75 percent,” Bodrum mayor Ahmet Aras told AFP in a lavish library overlooking the Aegean Sea.
“We expect a recovery from July with the start of flights from Russia and Europe,” but for the sector overall, “that will not happen for a few more years,” he said.
Pandemic curbs on travel wrecked Turkey’s economy by depriving it of foreign revenue to finance debt and support the lira.
The lack of tourists played a large part in the lira’s slide from six to the dollar in March 2020 to around 8.7 now.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government needed an urgent fix therefore to quell public discontent.—AN