After the large-scale and devastating earthquakes in Turkey that occurred in February, which took the lives of more than 49 thousand people, safety for tourists in this country has reached a new level: to make sure of the reliability of the building, travelers can request earthquake resistance certificates from the management of a particular hotel. They will be issued immediately after the checks.
The President of the Association of Travel Agencies of Turkey (TÜRSAB), Firuz Bagilkaya, said that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism should provide hotels and public food and beverage outlets with an earthquake resistance certificate, which will become a kind of safety indicator and quality mark for vacationers. “If our interlocutors from abroad used to ask: “Are there new directions?”, now they ask about the earthquake. Tour operators are also likely to ask for reports on whether hotels are earthquake-proof. The hotels will be certified, this inspires confidence”, – the words of the head of the association were quoted by the Turkish mass media.
In the tourism sector, agencies expect a new road map to be implemented after the earthquake. As in the case of the safe tourism certificate, which was in effect during the pandemic, it is proposed to implement a system of hotels and public catering establishments, which will show premises resistant to earthquakes.
According to him, the devastating events significantly reduced the flow of foreign tourists to the country in March. “We have to do this (introduce earthquake resistance certificates) for both local and foreign tourists. In this period, the airport of Istanbul would have been already crowded, but now it is empty. I think there will be a serious decrease in the number of tourists in March. No one will refuse to check their establishments and restaurants just now, mentally we are ready for this,” Bagilka added.
Another factor that has reduced the flow of foreign vacationers to Turkey is accommodation in earthquake-damaged hotels. As the head of the association noted, tourists from abroad, before going to the republic, are interested in whether there are refugees in hotels, because no one wants to rest and have fun in the same place as those who have experienced great pain and loss. At the same time, he assured that there are no more victims in large hotels, the issue of their accommodation has been resolved, but they can still stay in small hotels.
The official expressed hope that the earthquakes that occurred will not negatively affect the total expected flow of tourists in the amount of 50 million and $56 billion in revenue expected from tourism. Subsidence will be approximately half, except in the domestic excursion direction, but beach tourism will be significantly affected in this sense, he is sure. Turkey actively participates in tourism exhibitions abroad, throwing all its forces into the positive perception of its resorts by tourists after the tragedy.
Bagilkaya also complained that only five cities are allocated for tourism in the country, where a huge flow of vacationers is directed, while thousands of regions of the republic have tourist value.