Antalya is one of the most important tourism destinations in the world and welcomed its guests last year with “safe and healthy” tourism opportunities, and it is ready for the new season.
The tourism sector, which serves within the scope of the Safe Tourism Certificate program launched last year under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, has signed a work that will set an example to the world during the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic.
As a result of the works carried out in cooperation with the public and private sector, Antalya hosted approximately 3.5 million foreign tourists despite the epidemic.
Tourism professionals, who take reservations for the new season and slowly host their guests, are counting the days to increase in density.
Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers and Operators Association President Erkan Yagci told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the industry is ready for the new season.
Emphasizing that Antalya always attracts tourists, Yagci stated that there are currently open hotels in the city and that they continue to host tourists even though they are not very busy.
Stating that they will continue to serve this year in line with the criteria of the Safe Tourism Certificate program, Yagci said, “Our biggest work was the Safe Tourism Certificate system, it will be one of the most important elements this year. We will offer a healthy and enjoyable holiday in the light of the certificate criteria.”
Yagci stated that any business that does not have the certificate cannot provide service.
Flow of reservations will be shaped by last minute bookings
Referring to the fact that the flow in reservations started to differ periodically due to the epidemic, Yagci said, “We are in a period where we talk about last-minute bookings rather than early bookings in January and February, which we are used to every year. We think the flow of reservations will increase once the travel restrictions of countries and the uncertainty regarding this are eliminated. This year will be a period that last-minute bookings will shape.”
Yagci stated that currently reservations are received from all markets.
A city that attracts guests from 193 countries
Explaining that this is a world city and welcomes guests from 193 countries, Yagci said, “All markets are important to us. Our source markets are Russia, Germany, England, Ukraine, Poland, a city with a flow of guests from all countries. In Antalya, we hosted more than 15 million tourists in normal time.”
Reminding that Russia is the first source market for the city, Yagci stated that Antalya is one of the most preferred destinations by the Russians.
Reminding that the province hosted nearly 6 million Russian tourists in 2019, he noted that the majority of the tourists who came to the city last year were Russians. Yagci stated that the tourist flow from Russia will continue to increase this year as well.
Pointing out that Britain is an important market for the city and Turkey, Yagci said, “England also has a serious potential to become a source market. Especially in recent years, we have had very important relationships with UK market partners and tour operators. Communication is extremely strong at the point of increasing the UK market after the epidemic.”
Emphasizing that the domestic market is also of great importance for the sector, Erkan Yagci pointed out that it is a market that should always be supported, not only in this period.
Explaining that Antalya has a serious potential in domestic tourism, he said, “The more we develop domestic tourism, the more our resilience will increase against foreign tourism-oriented crises.”
“We are waiting for our guests from all over the world”
Ulkay Atmaca, President of the Professional Hotel Managers Association, said that the Safe Tourism Certificate program guides the sector.
Stating that they are ready for the season as the sector, Atmaca said, “We have taken the necessary precautions and made preparations in our hotels in line with the certification criteria. We are quite experienced from the last year. We expect our guests from all over the world.”
Stating that the necessary measures for social distance and hygiene are also taken in businesses, Atmaca reminded that customers are also taken to hotels with the HES code.
“We expect flows of reservations in April”
Turkey Travel Agencies Association (TURSAB) Mediterranean Region Representative Board Chairman Ferit Turgut said that the sector is ready for the season as hotels, travel agencies and holiday regions.
Explaining that early reservations are not possible due to the epidemic, and last-minute reservations are made, Turgut stated that the flow of reservations continues, especially from Russia, Ukraine and the domestic market.
Pointing out that there is not much booking flow in European countries due to travel restrictions, Turgut said, “As the industry, we are ready. We expect flows of reservations in April. Our strongest side is the hygiene regulation. We had a hygiene regulation that we implemented before the epidemic, and this epidemic was further expanded under the roof of the Safe Tourism Certificate. Situations such as seeing cases and moving in hotels are almost non-existent.”
Stating that they are more hopeful this year than last year, Turgut added that Antalya is a city that has proven itself in the epidemic process and that they expect more tourists than last year.
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz