Turkey working to lure foreign holidaymakers
Gizem Karakış- Ankara
Turkey has been holding talks with the U.K, Russia and Germany ahead of the tourism season to lure holidaymakers to the country as Ankara anticipates a revival in tourism activities in July.
The country’s top diplomat and the culture and tourism minister held a meeting earlier this week with representatives from the industry, mayors, some lawmakers and the governor of the popular holiday province of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast, to discuss and assess the prospects.
At the meeting, the ministers told the attendees that they expect the hotel occupancy rates to increase in July and flights will initially recommence in 22 destinations in 19 countries.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said he had been in constant contact with his British, German and Russian counterparts to inform them about Turkey’s fight against the pandemic and the country’s success regarding the steps taken towards the normalization.
For his part, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy suggested that first domestic tourism activity is expected to pick up starting in the first week of July after major school exams have been held.
The government has already removed travel restrictions imposed on seven provinces, including the country’s key tourism destinations Muğla, Antalya and Aydın.
“We are also anticipating a revival in foreign tourism activity in mid-July,” he said, adding that they are in close contacts with the U.K, Germany and Russia, which send a considerable number of visitors to Turkey.
The plan for the tourism industry was also discussed at the meeting. The blueprint foresees that restrictions on flights and inter-city bus services will be eased, measures will be taken to prevent excessive price hikes at tourism facilities and hygiene rules will be strictly observed at airports and tourism venues.