Turkey reopens and Europeans start booking holidays

Turkish flag

June 1 saw Turkey reopen tourist spots and hotels across the country, whilst also resuming intercity travel and domestic flights. By the middle of June, the country opened flights to foreign visitors.

European travellers in Turkey

Industry representatives confirmed that bookings to Turkey’s hot spots in July and August have rocketed. Meanwhile the resorts have confirmed that they can offer a safe, controlled holiday to those travelling.

Kaan Kavaloglu, one of the board members of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation of Tourism Investors Association of Turkey said that the sector has had to shift dramatically and experience a new style of preparations so that they can open to visitors. He went on to say that: “We have to be able to guarantee a safe holiday opportunity to our guests, both domestic and international.”

Kavaloglu said the industry is expecting European travellers to begin visiting as soon as borders open. The initial plan by the European Union of resuming tourism was not suitable for many citizens as they wanted to visit the Mediterranean coasts in Turkey and the popular resort of Antalya.

Kavaloglu also confirmed that: “Our foreign guests did not cancel their bookings for July and August. In fact, we secured a significant number of reservations from the European market.”

Antalya plays host to over four million tourists from Germany alone, and their travel is vital in the recovery of the tourism industry in Turkey. The tourism minister confirmed that as of June 1, hotels, tourist spots, domestic flights, and intercity travel resumed.

What can tourists in Turkey expect?

When visitors arrive at their hotel of choice, they will have to have a temperature check before moving to the reception desk abiding by the social distancing markers. Hotels rooms will now use disposable glasses and items such as television remotes will be put in disposable bags. Every room will be thoroughly disinfected when visitors leave.

Restaurant tables will be arranged according to the social distancing rules and there will be no buffet style options for guests to touch with their hands, instead the staff will serve the food requested direct to the table.

Tourists in Turkey should not worry

A Russian who settled in Turkey 10 years ago and took dual nationality in 2018, said that: “Turkey is the only country, where the health sector is not experiencing a crisis because of the virus. That’s why I keep assuring Russians not to worry about coming here.”

Another expat who has lived in Antalya for years and owns a business praised the Turkish health ministry for the way they have got the whole pandemic under control. She said: “My message for tourists is not to be afraid. We are waiting for your arrival.”

Due to swift actions taken by Turkey when the virus first hit, it appears they will reap huge benefits over some countries that were not as prepared.


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