Antalya, ruins of a temple in Side

Turkey postpones the start of tourism season until June

Last year Turkey received some 32,000 million euros for tourism and about 52 million foreign tourists, but the coronavirus could reduce those numbers significantly in 2020.

The start of the tourism season in Turkey could be postponed until the end of May or June due to travel restrictions and quarantine measures imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which according to the latest data has already caused 18,135 infections and 356 deceased in Turkey, while another 415 people have been discharged and more than 1,100 are admitted to intensive care.

In statements made on Thursday by Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, he hoped that the tourism sector could resume its activity during the Ramadan Festival (Ramazan Bayramı), which is celebrated precisely at the end of Ramadan to celebrate for several days the end of the fast: it’s a festival that lasts for 3 days, and that this year will take place in late May.

However, Ersoy was cautious about the restart of the activity after the total stoppage due to the COVID-19, and explained that initially the sector will only be open to national tourists, since the borders will continue to be closed and suspension of flights is also likely to continue in force.

The minister reminded tourism-related companies that they have fiscal aid and benefits from the Turkish government to prevent mass layoffs of workers; for example, if a company is forced to partially or completely suspend its activity due to a cause of force majeure, such as the coronavirus pandemic, State will pay a salary to its employees equivalent to 60% of the average salary in the sector.

Last year Turkey received some 32,000 million euros for tourism and about 52 million foreign tourists, but in 2020 these figures could be reduced considerably due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already infected more than one million people around the world.