The COVID-19 pandemic has emptied flights, hotels and sightseeing places in Turkey and all over the world. Travel is down. Social distancing has left most popular tourist attractions deserted.
In March the landmarks of Turkey closed ‘until further notice’.
Turkish bazaars have remained partly open, but the crowds have disappeared. The once crowded areas are now empty.
The tourism sector is facing the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many tourism workers were laid off or have remained unemployed for 8 – 9 months. The tourism workers are now among the most vulnerable society members. In Turkey they had to be employed before early April to be able to receive 50% of their wages from government. This left most of the tourist workers in Turkey behind. Despite all odds tourism in Turkey is soon to restart.
“Tourism can be a platform for overcoming the pandemic. By bringing people together, tourism can promote solidarity and trust”: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey has proposed requirements for tour guides. The requirements involve wearing masks for tour guides and tour participants. Tour capacities will remain limited due to new restrictions including physical distancing. All tour guides will act as supervisors and ensure everyone is wearing a mask and keeping social distance. Tour guides will also ensure that tour participants change masks when or if they become wet or dirty.
Another strict rule is ‘No Loud Speaking’ for the guides and tourists on all excursions. This means you will have hold you breath during rafting, paragliding and waterpark visits 🙂
Museums and exhibits in Turkey are due to reopen on July 01 2020.
All in all, it’s going to be a different kind of tourism this year.
Official Sources of Information: the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey; the United Nations; a specialized agency of the United Nations The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)