Turkey’s safety certificate program helps int’l holiday firm stay afloat

Turkey’s safety certificate program helps int’l holiday firm stay afloat

Engin Esen - ISTANBUL
Turkey’s safety certificate program helps int’l holiday firm stay afloat

Governmental measures to ensure the health and safety of holidaymakers and hygiene conditions in tourism facilities have helped the hospitality sector’s efforts to overcome the biggest crisis it has faced because of the coronavirus pandemic, the chief executive of an international company has said.

Hapimag, a Switzerland-based company providing holiday apartments in 58 resorts of 16 countries, is grateful to the Turkish authorities for their efforts as part of the Safe Tourism Certification program, its CEO Hassan Kadbi told Hürriyet Daily News.

“The measures in the various countries vary greatly, but they are all without exception targeted and comprehensible. The Safe Tourism Certificate of Turkey also makes sense for us. We follow the criteria of the Tourism Ministry regarding the COVID-19 measures in the Hapimag Resort in Bodrum and therefore have an independent certification,” he said.

“We appreciate the collaboration with the Tourism Ministry in Turkey as they managed the whole process well and clear. This means that our certificates are updated by various auditing programs and it is still ongoing. Additionally, audits took place with the cooperation of the Tourism Ministry, local governor’s office and municipality controllers. Also, the district governor of Bodrum has played an important role and updated the resort with daily necessary measures,” he added.

The Safe Tourism Certification, issued under the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s leadership and run in partnership with other authorities, covers a broad range of safety measures in transport, accommodation, and health conditions for tourists and hospitality employees. The certificate, issued by international certification institutions, validates the execution of strict health and hygiene requirements at airlines, airports and other transport facilities, as well as in accommodation outlets and food and beverage venues.

Hapimag’s Sea Garden Hotel in Turkey’s southwestern resort town of Bodrum has a total area of 191,000 square meters. The environment-friendly hotel serves food cooked with organic vegetables and fruits harvested in the facility’s gardens. It also organizes olive cultivation events in its grove of 280 olive trees.

The company’s business model is based on membership.

“Hapimag offers to its around 125,000 members with fully equipped holiday apartments and an intergenerational and sustainable holiday concept,” said Kadbi.

Noting that in spring, they had to close almost all of their 58 Hapimag resorts, either by order of the authorities or because no more guests were expected, he said: “Our resorts were closed for three to four months. From June onwards, we were able to reopen our resorts step by step.”

“Afterward, we had a good summer compared to other holiday providers, especially because the demand for holiday apartments and the associated need of the guests for security, trust and the guarantee of quality was very high due to the pandemic. In August, 29 resorts achieved an occupancy rate of over 90 percent,” Kadbi added.