Published on : Thursday, April 23, 2020
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the Turkey government aims to relax the COVID-19 restrictions and return to normal life towards the end of Eid al-Fitr. The announcement provided the diminishing tourism sector with the much-needed hope.
Tourism authorities in Turkey have been hoping to restart the tourist season for the month of June. The tourism industry of the country has been adversely affected by the month-long imposition of international and national travel restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Tourism is one of the key contributors to Turkey’s economy. Tourism provides jobs to nearly 1.5 million people in the country. Last year, the industry brought about $35 billion in revenues. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the government even aimed to double the tourism revenue this year.
As the country registered its first coronavirus case towards the end of March, all international bookings were cancelled. After 31 provinces around the country were put under lockdowns and internal flights were grounded, domestic tourism came under a standstill as well.
Therefore, following the ease of restrictions the Turkish government is planning to focus on reviving domestic tourism and extending the same effort towards encouraging international travellers for a visit. The Tourism Ministry has even launched a separate initiative to attract tourists potentially wary of travelling due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy informed in a press statement that the new project has been introduced to certify coronavirus free regions. The zones will be designated along the coast. He mentioned that the initiative will also involve training and educating workers in the industry, such as hotel and transportation staff, about the coronavirus, proper social distancing, and other necessary requirements.