‘Severity of COVID-19 veiled from public in Turkey’s top vacation hub, 400 diagnoses observed daily’
The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey's top vacation destination Antalya is being hidden from the public, and there are as many as 400 new diagnoses daily, Antalya Medical Chamber Chairwoman Prof. Nursel Şahin said. Turkey's main vacation destination for domestic and foreign tourists alike, Antalya has welcomed over 950,000 visitors in the past two months.
Turkish hotels will cover COVID-19 testing and isolation costs for Russian tourists if they show symptoms of the disease at the airport, Sputnik Turkey reported. Hospitalization costs will fall upon the traveler's insurance.
Hundreds of tourists arrived in Turkey from Moscow on Aug. 10, the first day of Russian flights into Turkish vacation hubs since the pause in operations due to COVID-19. Moscow had restarted flights to Istanbul and Ankara on Aug. 1.
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.
A historic building in Istanbul's neighborhood that up until recently housed the Istanbul Office of the Secretariat General for EU Affairs has been transformed into a restaurant and shisha cafe. “There couldn't be a better example of spatial transformation that explains Turkey's political transformation,” wrote urban sociologist Yaşar Adanalı on Twitter posting before and after photos of the building.
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.
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.
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.
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 tourism industry is facing refunds on nearly one million package deal sales that were completed before the announcement of the first COVID-19 patient in Turkey, Deutsche Welle reported April 19. Tourism agencies are left between receiving refunds themselves, and paying some one million clients back.
A 30-year-old Chinese tourist who got lost on a hike in the southern province of Antalya was rescued by the local gendarmerie and the National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE). The officers wore masks and gloves while rescuing Jingyun Lan due to the coronavirus pandemic that's killed 59 people in Turkey as of March 25.