The way that the tourism industry in Turkey handled the pandemic has inspired visitors to travel and book holidays in 2021. Ulkay Atmaca, head of Turkey’s Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD) explained that the country had strict safety and hygiene measures introduced earlier this year, and this is a major reason why the approach for 2021 has been so positive.
Atmaca said that: “The healthy and safe holiday opportunity we offer to tourists has reflected positively on 2021 reservations. We have seen a flurry of bookings for next year has already started.”
Safe Tourism Certificate program
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey introduced a Safe Tourism Certificate, which saw effective measures taken at Turkish airports, beaches, and hotels in Turkey to slow the spread of the virus.
The Vice Chairperson, Kaan Kavaloglu, of the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB) said that: “We have become an example for the whole world with the healthy tourism certificate. Our competitors Spain, Egypt, Greece and even France have taken our applications as an example.”
Global tourism industry
There is no doubt that this has been one of the toughest years for global tourism. Despite this, Antalya, referred to as many as the tourism capital in Turkey, still received 3.35 million visitors as of the November 15. Even during the days leading up to winter, Antalya played host to almost 80,000 tourists during the first 14 days in November.
Atmaca spoke of how the figures a great success, saying: “The industry has shown a truly great fight example.”
Why Antalya in Turkey?
Antalya is known for a rich history, unique combination of luxury facilities, and golden beaches. Despite the pandemic, Antalya has maintained its top spot as a booming tourist destination around the world. People have been able to holiday with peace of mind, thanks to new measures that the government have enforced.
Atmaca went on to confirm that: “All the guests have proposed Turkey to their relatives because they left pleased with their stay. The numbers for 2021 will be much better. We will also see the benefits of this in the coming years. The measures we have taken will continue next year.”
Safety Measures in Turkey
Atmaca said that the industry has managed to rapidly adapt to all the measures. As well as hygiene, the wearing of masks, and social distancing rules, Atmaca was keen to stress that guests had no contact with food, as all food services are now carried out by staff. Atmaca said: “The Safe Tourism Certificate has been the study that was liked the most by the tourists arriving in 2020.”
Turkey’s advantage for 2021
Kavaloglu was keen to say that the attention to hygiene that hotels have implemented, combined with the Safe Tourism Certificate was appreciated by visitors. The measures other countries are using are not as stringent as those being followed in Turkey, and this is a reason why Turkey will enjoy a brilliant start to 2021. Kavaloglu stated that due to their exceptional measures: “We’ll have a chance to receive early bookings, while other countries most probably won’t.”
According to data supplied by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Turkey was host to approximately 9.46 million foreign visitors from January to September this year. This figure is reduced by 74% on a year-on-year comparison due to coronavirus travel restrictions. Data shows that during the first nine months of the year, Istanbul attracted most visitors standing at 3.6 million, while Antalya also fared well with 2.4 million tourists.
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