German, Turkish tourism professionals meet in İzmir

German, Turkish tourism professionals meet in İzmir

İZMİR - Anadolu Agency
German, Turkish tourism professionals meet in İzmir

A three-day introductory trip promoting secure vacations have begun in Turkey’s Aegean coast city of İzmir for Germany-based tourism agencies.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry described measures taken against the coronavirus to representatives of Germany’s leading tourism agencies who joined the advertisement of the resort city of Kuşadası.

A total of 35 tourism professionals from seven German cities are taking part in the event.

Turkey is a popular place for German holidaymakers. According to the official data, more than 5 million Germans visited Turkey in 2019, accounting for 11 percent of all foreign tourist arrivals in the country. In 2018, Turkey hosted 4.5 million German holiday makers.

German tourist visits, however, declined sharply after the pandemic broke out.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry reported that only a little more than 357,000 German nationals visited Turkey in January-May, down from 1.2 million visits in 2019 and 1.1 million in 2018. In May alone, Turkey welcomed 396 German nationals versus 410,000 a year ago.

More than 1.2 million foreigners vacationed in the popular holiday destination İzmir in 2019, data also showed.

TAV Airports Holding General Manager Erkan Balcı said Turkey’s goal was to resume flights to Europe’s airfields and restart tourism with Turkey.

SunExpress Assistant General Manager Ahmet Çalışkan pointed out that in terms of safe tourism, Turkey’s is ahead of many countries.

Within the framework of the promotional trip, the natural and historical beauties of the region will be introduced while measures taken for a safe vacation will also be presented between July 16-19.

Ankara has engaged in intense diplomacy, particularly with Germany, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to lure international travelers to the country.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu visited Germany in early July to discuss tourism and restrictions-related issues with German officials.

“Germany needs to review its travel warning. After evaluating the situation based on the objective criteria, Turkey should be listed within the safe and secure countries. Our German friends also want to come for holiday to Turkey,” Çavuşoğlu said, speaking at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin.

“We are ready to welcome our guests from Germany and other countries,” he said, emphasizing that Turkey has taken necessary measures to prevent COVID-19 infection.

Çavuşoğlu stated that all the processes, including all the facilities, airports and transfers, were certified by German companies and that they would be supervised by them.

For his part, Maas said Germany and Turkey would continue to hold talks on tourism and conditions for lifting coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

Çavuşoğlu had a telephone call with Maas on July 16, according to diplomatic sources.

Contents of that meeting were not shared with the media.