Antalya welcomes more holidaymakers day by day
The Mediterranean province of Antalya, the heartland of the Turkish tourism industry, has passed a turning point on July 5, when it welcomed foreign tourists from 36 cities in nine countries.
“The tourism spike that started with Kazakhs, Belarusians and Ukrainians on July 1 has been continuing. More than 10,000 Ukrainians arrived in the first week of July and returned to their home country happily,” said Ülkay Atmaca, the head of the Professional Otel Managers Association.
“As the country and the sector, we are leading in hygiene and food safety. The certification process has underlined this fact. Charter flights brought guests from 36 cities of nine countries to Antalya on July 5. That’s a big success for Antalya,” he said.
Tourism firms in Antalya will enter a fast recovery period after travel restrictions imposed worldwide to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic ease, said Atmaca.
“We are well ahead of the majority of other countries in terms of service quality and infrastructure. Thus, if there’s not a very specific problem, it is not possible for a tourist to have a bad holiday in Turkey. We always aim at sending holidaymakers home happily,” he added.
Over 21,000 foreign tourists visited Antalya in June, according to Culture and Tourism Ministry data. The province welcomed more than 27,000 foreigners just in the first week of July, while Ukrainians made the bulk of the figure with 10,498 trippers.
“The occupation rate is around 20 percent as of July. We are not planning to exceed 50 percent of our capacity due to COVID-19 measures,” said Çağlar Bardakçı, general manager of a luxury hotel in the affluent resort town of Belek.
“We have taken many precautions before reopening [in June]. Holidaymakers observe measures starting from incoming. Since the total area of our facilities is very large, they don’t stand in close distance between each other. They enjoy the sea, the pools and other opportunities. Up to now, they all seem to be satisfied,” he added, also saying that they are receiving new bookings.
Turkey has introduced a safe tourism certification program to ensure if airlines, airports and other transportation facilities, accommodations and food venues are fulfilling a set of hygiene standards. Hotels and restaurants have obtained a certificate based on 150 control points.
Some 720 hotels and about 900 restaurants have applied for a safe tourism certification as of June 24, the tourism minister has said.
“When you think of the hotels or service providers included in the certificate program, we are the safest in European standards in certified facilities,” said Nuri Ersoy.
Every tourism facility operating more than 50 rooms are legally obliged to take part in the certification program.