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Turkey hopes to restart tourism season as foreign arrivals begin

Turkey hopes to restart tourism season as foreign arrivals begin

Turkey hopes to restart the tourism season and welcome more international travelers in upcoming weeks as more than 2,000 hotels finalize measures to receive the tourism ministry’s “safe to visit” certificate after halting business for months due to the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s tourism minister said.

Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy made his remarks Saturday at an event in the southern resort city of Antalya, where ambassadors of more than 50 countries and tourism sector representatives gathered for the launch of the ministry’s new campaign “ReTurkey” promoting the new “healthy tourism certificate” program.

The minister said 400 hotels have implemented the entire 132 criteria and received the certificate so far, adding that the ministry’s actual goal is to restart the entire industry and open half of the tourism facilities in line with the new program.

Ersoy noted the ministry is working with international companies that have operations in more than 50 countries to ensure the certificate program meets the highest global standards and is recognized across the world. He added that the details of the program have been shared with more than 70 countries and that the ministry is ready to help other governments implement similar programs.

“The campaign’s goal is to show that the health and quality standards at tourism facilities in Turkey are at a much higher level than those in Europe,” Ersoy said.

The “healthy tourism certificate” program was launched jointly by several ministries, including the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Health Ministry. Its aim is to convince travelers that despite the pandemic, Turkey’s beaches and historic treasures will be safe to visit this year, with rigorous checks on airlines, local transport and hotels receiving the utmost safety guidelines.