Germany's Foreign Ministry extended travel warnings to 130 countries, including Turkey, as part of COVID-19 precautions. The country determines risky countries based on a rate of 50 infections among 100,000 people.
More than 10,000 tourists arrived in the Mediterranean beach town of Antalya on July 19. The number hints that business in Turkey's touristic hub is picking back up after months of COVID-19 closures.
Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urban planning has approved a zoning project for a large patch of land that lies in a protected area in the district of Kaş. A huge fire erupted in Kaş' Çukurbağ peninsula last month burning down a large area of forestland and olive trees.
Turkey's Interior Ministry said that senior citizens will now be allowed to travel after obtaining a "tourism document" on the government's online portal. Although seniors are allowed to go outside between certain hours every day, the age group is still under curfew.
Business in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet suffers post-COVID-19 while seaside neighborhood thrives
Business owners in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet district have been suffering from dramatically decreased business since re-opening on June 1 after months of COVID-19 closures. Meanwhile, a seaside neighborhood on the Anatolian side of Istanbul has returned to pre-isolation crowds.
Turkey's Trade Ministry legalized 18 installments for touristic spending to incentivize consumers. The new legal installment limit will be applicable to travel agencies, airlines and hotels.
Prime Minister of the Netherlands said that travelers returning from Turkey would be placed under quarantine for 15 days, and urged citizens to avoid traveling to the country if possible. Turkey remains on an "orange list" of countries to be avoided if possible, potentially hurting an otherwise frugal touristic relationship between the states.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Berlin was considering lifting travel bans to Turkey if the course of the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't worsen and sufficient preventative measures are implemented. The decision will also depend on the preventative measures in beaches and hotels, as Germany is among Turkey's top tourist importer.
Turkey's Mediterranean vacation destination Antalya has started preparations for the arrival of tourists, expected around the end of May. The municipality has distanced lounge chairs and umbrellas from each other, and banned squatting in an attempt to ensure safe distances between visitors.
The chairman of one of Turkey's largest tourism agencies warned that the collapse of the tourism industry would have nationwide implications. The second largest tour operator in Turkey, Jolly Tours is expecting a 20 percent drop in revenue from the initial targets for the year.
The village of Şirince, known for the prediction that it would survive the 2012 Mayan apocalypse, has been struggling with COVID-19 as the pandemic essentially shut down almost all local businesses.
Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister said that "if there are no setbacks," domestic tourism will pick up around May 28 and travel bans will be lifted by the end of the month. Meanwhile, the ministry is anticipating foreign tourism to start back up mid-June.
Müzeyyen Yüce reports: Once the sixth largest in the world, Turkey’s tourism industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19. While the industry is expecting to see domestic tourism to pick up around June 15, it is widely believed that the anxiety of consumers will lead them to smaller, safer environments. Boutique hotels and rental homes will be on the rise.
Turkey's hotels and restaurants will open May 27, although reopening will be dependent on businesses completing hygiene requirements by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
Like the rest of the world, Turkey is discussing when and how to ease the coronavirus restrictions. While shopping malls are to be reopened in 10 days, the Parliament is to be shut down until June 2 and courts until June 15. This gives an idea of the government’s priorities.