Turkey, tourism and tourist

European tourists change Spain for Turkey as a tourist destination

Many tourists from countries such as Germany or the United Kingdom are changing their vacations due to the increase of infections in Spain.

Turkey‘s popularity as a tourist destination among European tourists has increased as recently countries such as Germany or the United Kingdom issued warnings about travelling to Spain, forcing their citizens if they visit this country to perform PCR tests for coronavirus before returning.

Precisely the United Kingdom and Germany announced in recent weeks their decision to consider several resorts in Turkey as a safe destination for tourism due to the low rate of infections in provinces such as Antalya or Muğla, and recently Russia did the same when resuming flights to destinations popular in Turkey like Antalya, Dalaman or Bodrum.

Many Turkish entrepreneurs in the tourism sector now believe that the warnings to their citizens announced by countries like Germany – which recommends not travelling to any destination in Spain except the Canary Islands – will cause many German tourists to change their vacation plans, opting for Turkey as an alternative destination. The United Kingdom has taken similar measures, forcing all its citizens returning from Spain to undergo 14 days of quarantine.

Speaking to the Turkish press, the president of the Antalya Municipal Tourism Council, Recep Yavuz, said that currently European tourists have very limited options for travelling abroad, and that Turkey is currently their best alternative.

Turkey has a Safe Tourism Certification Program

“Among the options they have, Turkey is the safest and closest. If there are no setbacks or a sudden increase in cases, European tourists will come to Antalya,” said Yavuz, recalling that during the first two weeks of August 325,000 foreign tourists have travelled to Antalya. “Right now, about 20,000 Russian tourists arrive every day,” he added.

For her part, the president of the Turkish Hoteliers Association (TÜROB), Müberra Eresin, said that the Turkish tourism sector has taken much stricter measures against the coronavirus than in other countries, including the introduction of a health certification program that hotels, restaurants and other places must obtain to guarantee that clients and employees have the maximum protection against the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Eresin, the changes made in the sector during the pandemic will not only serve while it lasts, but they are long-term investments for the future of the tourism sector. “We expect to see the real signs of recovery in the spring of 2021, and we are already setting new targets for next year,” she said.

One of the main incentives for European tourists to change Spain for Turkey as their main tourist destination, in addition to the cultural richness of Turkey or its sun and beach destinations, is the Safe Tourism Certification Program; introduced in April by the Turkish government with the collaboration of three ministries, the certificate is endorsed by international institutions and includes numerous preventive measures against the coronavirus.