$15bn USD I hear you say? Really? Yes, really! That is the predicted figure that tourism could still contribute to the economy in Turkey by the end of 2020, even with the Coronavirus pandemic hindering the pre-crisis target of 60 million visitors this year.
A combination of stricter safety measures being implemented, and social distancing rules being adhered to has meant that International traveller numbers has risen once again over the last few months, and as long as there is no second wave, and tourists keep arriving at the steady rate, the $15bn figure is very much achievable.
Birol Akman who is the Chairman of the Anatolian Tourism Operators Association is highly positive of the growing situation at hand, and has continued to monitor things closely over the last few weeks and months. According to him, and the figures, up to 50,000 tourists have been arriving per day, and hotels (which were closing) are now re-opening to meet demand. He added that this has been possible only because of ‘Turkey’s quick reaction to the pandemic, getting it under control and giving guests a safer experience’. He does add though that ‘this doesn’t mean inspections are any less than they were a few months ago – inspections continue and health measures are still in place’.
If you recall a few months ago, Turkey also introduced a ruling whereby hotels could only open if they were given a safe tourism certificate (proving that they met the required standards for health and safety during the Covid-Era) and this was very popular within the Industry. It also meant, and still means, that if a tourist does test positive, there is a safe isolation room they can stay in during their time in Turkey, until they are proven to no longer be carrying it. Those self-isolation rooms are set up exclusively by the hotel, and there must be one for every 50 normal rooms. In addition, anyone who has tested positive must not come into contact with other visitors on the same floor, rooms either side must be kept empty and they will have their own staff to deliver food etc, who also must be health-checked regularly.
Of course, it must be highlighted that numbers are nowhere near they were last year where 52 millions visitors arrived into Turkey, contributing over 34 billion to the economy, however, the latest prediction is a step in the right direction, and everyone looks forward to when things can get back to a degree of normality.