With no need for a vaccination, British tourists queue for Turkish summer holidays

Two tour operators say bookings for Turkish holidays have doubled since Turkey's tourism minister said British tourists were welcome without the need for vaccine certificates.

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays say they have put 100 extra flights to Turkey on sale in response to the increased demand, with more seats to Antalya, Bodrum and Dalaman between June and October.

Culture and tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said Turkey was looking forward to welcoming British tourists "with open arms".

“We will not require vaccination passports from international travellers when entering the country,” Ersoy said.

“We have world-class border processes in place for ensuring travel will be low-risk throughout Turkey. We are working with the British authorities to ensure these necessary processes are world-class and as up-to-date as possible."

Before the pandemic closed borders, Turkey attracted 2.5 million British tourists each year.

To ensure the tourists who make the trip this summer are safe, hotels are taking extra precautions to stay sanitary and maintain social distancing. Hotels and other tourist institutions can opt in to a safety scheme, so tourists are assured that all measures are taken.

The Turkish government, already well into its vaccine rollout, is prioritising staff at hotels and other tourist destinations ahead of the summer season.

After the announcement, Jet2.com announced a 1000% rise in bookings over the next 24 hours, and similar spikes in bookings to Greece and Cyprus.

“Turkey has continued to be a popular choice, and the welcome news that UK holidaymakers can enjoy the Turkish sunshine this summer has translated into an immediate rush of bookings," said CEO Steve Heapy.

Property Turkey director Cameron Deggin said the increased bookings were a sign that it would soon be business as usual. 

"Albeit with extra precautions in place to keep everyone safe and well," Deggin said.

Enquiries for holiday homes in summer holiday favourites like Bodrum and Fethiye were also rising, he said. 

"A lot of lifestyle buyers have held off over the last few months, with the vaccine roll out people are feeling more confident about travelling freely again, so we've seen more interest in these Mediterranean areas." 


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