As Turkey has taken a full slate of measures to ensure the safety of local and international tourists amid the coronavirus outbreak, visitors are praising the country’s efforts against the virus at hospitals, airports and hotels.
The normalization period in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, which welcomes millions of tourists from abroad every year, brought a glimpse of hope for the tourism sector that businesses could pick up before the summer season ends.
Meanwhile, tourists visiting the country’s Mediterranean coasts said they feel safe thanks to a recent healthy tourism certification program, which was launched in collaboration with Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, Culture and Tourism Ministry, and Transportation Ministry.
The program sets out a series of measures for various sectors, including accommodation, transportation, the health status of travelers and employee facilities for those seeking to spend their vacation in Turkey.
‘Turkish touristic spots among the safest in Europe’
Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said Sunday that Turkey's health care system and infrastructure proved resilient during the pandemic and incoming foreign tourists should feel safe in the country.
Speaking at a promotional event for the country’s “health tourism certificate” program alongside Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Antalya, Ersoy said the number of coronavirus cases recorded in the touristic regions of Turkey was one of the lowest levels across Europe.
Ersoy also noted that the country opened international air travel after applying strict measures against the virus.
Measures at every step
Anadolu Agency (AA) decided to accompany Russian Mariia Kostareva and her family in Antalya upon their arrival at the airport and captured footage of their experience from the airport through the hotel to the beach.
The family left the plane with masks on their faces and went through thermal cameras while abiding by social distancing measures. They also used hand sanitizer available at various points in the airport.
Later the Kostareva family was transported to a hotel that had earlier earned a “safe tourism certification,” where their body temperature was checked, and they were provided with fresh masks.
Once the check-in was concluded, trained hotel employees briefed the family on the outbreak and measures taken to guard against it.
Their luggage was disinfected by the personnel, and the Russian family went to their room to rest for a while. Then, they enjoyed sunbathing while paying attention to social distancing rules and went to a restaurant where they enjoyed a meal.
Safe, quality destination
Kostareva said Antalya is an ideal tourist city where one can enjoy good weather and the sea, adding that the service provided was both healthy and high quality.
“We’re pleased with (the service). We expect our friends to visit Antalya, you can have a safe vacation here,” she said.
She went on to say that authorities place great importance on tourists’ safety amid the outbreak, and the measures at hotels and airports made Antalya a safe vacation option.
Her daughter, Nadya, said they have received quality service since arriving in the city and that the matter of hygiene was taken seriously by Turkish employees, adding that disinfectants were present everywhere both at the hotel and airport.
Turkey has so far reported nearly 205,000 confirmed cases since the eruption of the outbreak and over 179,000 of the patients have recovered from the disease. The country’s death toll stands at 5,206.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed nearly 528,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since it originated in China last December.
More than 11.1 million COVID-19 cases have been reported around the world so far, with recoveries topping 6 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.