Turkey to resume domestic tourism as of May 28: Minister
Turkey plans to activate its tourism industry initially with domestic tourism late May and internationally after mid-June, the country’s culture and tourism minister said on May 16.
“I hope, tourism will start with some tourism mobility domestically by May 28,” said Mehmet Nuri Ersoy on May 16, speaking to private broadcaster NTV.
“We also expect international tourism to start with some countries after mid-June,” Ersoy said, noting that the first destinations might be Asian countries, including China and South Korea, he noted.
But all these plans are due if the course of outbreak does not go worse and people stick to the measures, he said.
Ersoy stressed that Turkey started a detailed certification program for hotels over the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“We have taken the necessary steps on circulars and criteria. Safe perception needs to be ensured completely. We started a detailed certification program in this bid. It [the certification program] was the first in the world, and the EU also decided to initiate a similar one,” he stated.
The certification system will have three pillars: Transportation, facilities, and passengers who use the previous two pillars.
Sterilizing vehicles, hotels, airports, restaurants, agencies, museums and historical sites and providing immunity certificate and pandemic training for tourism industry staff are part of the plan.
Hotels in Turkey are getting prepared for the tourism season with the normalization period over the pandemic. The ministry issued a hygiene notice to inform hotels about COVID-19 measures, such as social distancing and hygiene rules. After the ministry’s notice, hotels started to design their facilities, including buffets, beaches, lobbies and pools, to ensure social distancing. Hotels set up thermal cameras on their entrances to measure body temperatures of their staff and customers. They will also use disinfection systems for customer baggage during the season.
Buffets were removed, and the staff will serve meals for customers. Desserts, fruits and salads will be served in single-use plates. Sunbeds are placed at the beach and poolside at a distance of one-and-a-half meters, and towels are planned to be delivered in bag.
Room key cards will be disinfected with ultraviolet lamps, while disposable pens will be used in lobbies. Rooms will not be used for 24 hours after vacating, and elevators will not be used by more than one person, except families. TV and air conditioning remote controls will be disinfected in guest rooms and all textiles will be washed over 70 degrees Celsius. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Turkey will normalize gradually during the May-July period.