© The Author(s) 2022.The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused tremendous fear and uncertainty and affected health, economy, and social life in an unprecedented form worldwide. Yet, the level of knowledge on its economic implications is very limited. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to explain the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19. Because the tourism is one of the most affected industries by the pandemic, this study aims to explain the effects of COVID-19 cases and deaths, global fear, and government responses on Turkey’s tourism industry. Empirical findings show that the tourism industry reacts negatively to new cases, number of deaths, and global fear measures. Also, government containment and health measures and economic supports positively affect the tourism industry. Furthermore, government stringency policies drive down the tourism industry’s performance. The findings of this study provide significant implications for tourism and travel firms, policy makers, and future research.