Turkey has the “safest” tourism facilities compared to those in Europe, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said on June 24.
“When you think of the hotels or service providers included in the certificate program, we are the safest in European standards in certified facilities,” he told Anadolu Agency.
More than 727 hotels and about 900 restaurants applied for a “Safe Tourism Certification” that would indicate they had taken standard measures to prevent COVID-19 infections, the minister stated.
The certificate program includes periodic inspection, along with another audit program of “hidden guests,” like unaware guests, he said.
Elaborating on some European countries that included Turkey within their travel warning destinations, the minister emphasized those capitals aim to keep the circulation of money in their domestic markets due to economic reasons.
“Turkey is one of the safest countries in Europe, but some processes are stalled due to economic reasons. It is unfair but done. We are gradually overcoming them by giving the most correct answer to every question they bring to us,” Ersoy noted.
Turkey will open testing centers for the novel coronavirus in its busy airports by July 1 and the rest in others in the country by July 15, said the tourism minister.
The Turkish government also introduced a health insurance system for travels of foreigners and its citizens residing abroad with a limit between 2,000 and 7,000 euros and a cost between 13 and 33 euros, the minister said. For a one-week stay, the limit of 7,000 euros can be purchased for 23 euros, and the insurance will cover more than coronavirus diseases, he noted.
This service can be accessed from the website of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, and they have informed tour operators and airlines as the sales of insurance commenced, he said.
If a tourist is on his way to his country, he would be able to have a test in Turkey for a fee of 15 euros, and would receive the results in two hours, the minister said, noting that the Turkish authorities also informed the local health centers so that tourists could take this test whenever they want.
“The body temperatures of all tourists entering our country are measured at 37.8 degrees and above, or if there is any symptom, a test will be performed at the test center. Otherwise, no test is required, this test will be free,” he stated.
He said Turkey’s 2023 tourism goals remained as planned. “Turkey’s 75 million tourists and $65 billion income goal for 2023 will be achieved,” said Ersoy.
The number of public beaches, as the one available in the country’s southern tourist hotspot province Antalya, would be extended across Turkey, he added.
Top Turkish, Spanish diplomats talk COVID-19, tourism
Meanwhile, in a phone conversation on June 24, the foreign ministers of Turkey and Spain discussed the novel coronavirus as well as normalization of the tourism industry in the aftermath of the epidemic, said diplomatic sources.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Arancha Gonzalez Laya discussed the latest developments on the outbreak in both countries, effort to bring back tourism, and Turkish-EU relations, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
As tourism worldwide ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey’s new case numbers are falling, and the country is looking to bring back tourists by restarting flights and issuing certificates for businesses that have
taken necessary steps against the outbreak.
Spain is also seeking to reassure tourists as its numbers fall and its borders reopen.