Minister of Tourism and Culture Mehmet Ersoy, told Reuters, “We open the travel season from June 1,” he said. Ersoy said that if the number of daily illnesses were less than 5,000 by May 17, Turkey could reach the target of 30 million tourists.
According to Reuters, travel agencies, tour operators and hotels are not so optimistic. Tour Andiamo General Manager Cem Polatoğlu operating in Istanbul, the closure decision can not end the season, he said. Stating that the decision was made late, Polatoğlu said that even if the limit of 5,000 daily events was reduced in May, it would take time to ease travel warnings in the countries visited by tourists.
Estimating the number of tourists as 6 million this year, Polatoğlu pointed out that half of the 12 thousand tour agencies in Turkey are now closed.
Ali Kırlı, regional manager of the Aegean-based Peninsula Tour, said they received a maximum of 20 early orders a day in Dalaman in March and April. Stating that the same number was 300 last year, Kırlı, “Early booking stopped,” he said.
Travel conditions from Germany to Turkey
The pandemic in Turkey peaked in late April and reached 63,000 new events a day. The number of new patients, which has been declining since April 21, fell below 26,000 over the weekend. As of April 30, the number of cases was recorded as 340 per 100 thousand people. This figure must be below 200 for the German government to remove Turkey from the high-altitude zone and change the travel warning.
Turkey currently ranks third in terms of German tourists after Greece and Spain. According to the Association of German Travel Agencies (DRV), the number of bookings in 2019 will be 20-25 percent. It is said that most of the reservations are transferred to the end of summer and autumn, and even by 2022. DRV Speaker Torsten Schaefer, “Many are waiting for the summer holidays, we expect reservation decisions to be made very soon.”
Flights from Russia will not start on June 1
Among foreign tourists visiting Turkey, Russians are ahead of Germans and British. However, almost all flights from Russia to Turkey were suspended until June 1, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova called on tour operators not to sell their travel and to wait for a government decision after June 1.
This warning is interpreted as an extension of the flight ban. Travel agencies in Moscow are also worried that the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey will decrease before August. “If Russian tourists do not come, there will be a lot of bankruptcies and layoffs,” Bora Kok, chief operating officer of the Bora Bora Boutique Hotel in Antalya, told Reuters.
Reuters / EC, HS
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