Germany’s initial lifting of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 is expected to give Turkey a significant boost in the tourism sector, tourism representatives said. This would be the second boost to the tourism recovery, after the arrival of Russian tourists.
President of the Association of Alternative Tourism Activities and Enterprises (ATIB), Cem Karaca explained that the facilities in Antalya, situated on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, had seen an huge number of foreigners coming from Russia following the start up of flights between the two countries on August 1.
Fresh hopes for German tourists
Now the tourism sector is hoping to welcome German tourists in a similar fashion, which could help businesses recuperate some of the losses that they experienced due to the late starting of the summer season. Karaca hopes this will happen before the season ends.
He said: “Although it is not possible to see last year's figures, we believe that enough tourists will arrive to offset some portion of losses incurred by the pandemic.”
The secretary-general of the Halal International Tourism Organisation, Emrullah Ahmet Turhan also explained that for the sector to see a strong recovery, it was relying on the return of the German visitors. He said: “Germany is an important market for all stakeholders of the industry, as German visitors benefit from a wide range of touristic services.”
Germany’s deal with Turkey
This all comes after the German government made the decision last week to lift travel restrictions to some areas of Turkey, including the resort destinations of Antalya, Aydin, Izmir and Mugla, including Fethiye. This move comes after consultations between German and Turkish officials and was a part of a deal to help revive tourism in both countries.
It also follows the implementation of a Safe Tourism Certification Program of Turkish resorts and destinations nationwide, in an attempt to ensure all visitors are kept safe from COVID-19.
Berlin announced in March a global travel warning for German citizens. This announcement asked its citizens to avoid non-essential travel abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic and put further restrictions on international travel. Three months later, these restrictions have been lifted for the EU (European Union) and Schengen countries; the restrictions have been extended to the end of August for all other countries.
Turkey’s popularity with Germans
The coasts of Turkey have historically been one of the most popular destinations for German tourists of all ethnic backgrounds. Last year, Turkey followed Spain as the second-most popular destination for tourists, according to the German Travel Association (DRV). Figures show that nearly five million German tourists travelled to Turkey in 2019 alone.
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