The Turkish government has launched an initiative to certificate coronavirus-free tourism resorts across the country with an ‘internationally recognised’ certification system. Turkey expects expect domestic tourism to resume in June.
Tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy has recently stated: ‘“We have started the certification process to determine the coronavirus-free zones under a system. We will develop it stage by stage. First, we will develop an internationally accepted certification system. We are planning to include all the NGOs in the commission and conclude the certification system swiftly in the first week of May. Gradually, we will make the tourism facilities get these certificates until the end of May”.
He also said: “We expect domestic tourism to resume in June. The sterilisation of tourism transportation vehicles will be done regularly, and transport personnel will have to get pandemic training after undergoing health checks. Airports, hotels, restaurants and museums will be redecorated in accordance with social distancing rules. Health staff and equipment, including thermal cameras, will be ready onsite. Tourists will be required to show health documents that international authorities have agreed are required. Health facilities and infrastructure, including intensive care units and ventilators, around tourism resorts will be mapped and documented for presentation to tour operators. When all these processes are completed, the Turkish government will get into contact with tourist source countries for travel arrangements. With deals with other countries, we will start flights under airport-based gradual timetables. At the first stage we expect incomings from the Asian countries. In the second stage, Germany and Austria will recover fast, tourists from central and northern European countries will follow them. Russian and British tourists may not arrive until after the end of July.
Turkey was targeting a total of 60 million tourists for 2020 and attracted a record number of visitors with 51.9 million people in 2019.
The certification will help hotels and other service providers to assure travellers of their hygiene standards, the most important factor in post-pandemic tourism.
As yet the plans do not include health tourism or medical tourism.