To ease tourist access in northwestern Turkey’s Edirne province and to boost trade, local authorities will launch a PRC testing application at the Kapıkule border gate along the Turkish-Bulgarian border.
The practice will start as of next month and will allow passengers to obtain test results in 30 minutes, Edirne Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ETSO) Chairperson Recep Zıpkınkurt said Monday.
The tests to be conducted at a laboratory at the border gate will have a fee of TL 110 ($13.11).
Edirne is known as being a favorite hot spot for visitors from across its neighboring borders, particularly Bulgarians, who have over recent years been heading over to meet many of their shopping needs and benefit from Turkey’s competitive prices and high-quality goods.
Zıpkınkurt said the practice, to be implemented jointly with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), would ease Bulgarian tourists' access.
He particularly stressed the importance of the application for local small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“We all focus on the importance of the arrival of our Bulgarian friends, who we consider very important to the economy of our city and the increase of our city’s shopping and trade,” Zıpkınkurt noted.
“We believe that it (the practice) will make a substantial contribution to the economy of our city. Depending on the results, we may decide to build the same station in Hamzabeyli border crossing as well,” he added.
Busy crowds in Edirne's marketplaces would be seen Fridays and weekends when Bulgarian tourists would typically arrive.
One of the major reasons behind their arrivals is the volatility in exchange rates that led to the Turkish lira’s sharp decline, making Turkish products much more affordable for tourists.
Greek and Bulgarian tourists typically arrive a day ahead of their shopping trip, entering from the Pazarkule or Kapıkule border gates and usually spend the night in a hotel. They come to Edirne individually or on package tours.
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