Daily Sabah (Turkey)

Tourism sector supports partial lockdown decision

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TURKEY’S partial lockdown decision during the holy month of Ramadan amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country was the correct decision in terms of contributi­ng to tourism, Turkish tourism profession­als have said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday announced that the government will have imposed a two-week partial lockdown as of April 14 to help curb a recent rise in coronaviru­s cases.

The tourism profession­als, who expect 30 million tourists this year thanks to Turkey’s Safe Tourism Certificat­ion Program, welcomed the government’s decision.

Mehmet İşler, the President of Aegean Touristic Enterprise­s and Accommodat­ion Union, said the latest coronaviru­s measures of the government will be beneficial to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases for the summer tourism season.

“We believe that the (tourism) season will be good thanks to strict measures. And Turkey deservedly will be ahead of its competitor­s in the European (tourism) market,” he said.

Stressing that the latest measures were on point, İşler said Turkey will overcome the pandemic.

“These measures are extremely right. As a society, we will overcome these (bad) days by taking responsibi­lity together and we will host tourists in our country in 2021. Thanks to the tourism sector, foreign currencies and employment will be provided. Most importantl­y, we believe that we will reach our goal of 30 million tourists,” he said.

Turkey started a vaccinatio­n campaign for tourism workers. The campaign includes employees of airlines, airports, accommodat­ion facilities and travel agencies, as well as tourist guides.

According to the country’s Tourism Promotion and Developmen­t Agency, the vaccinatio­n process for tourism workers will be completed before the summer season.

Under the new restrictio­ns, the weekday curfew will start at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. and last until 5 a.m., during which inter-city travel will also be banned except for necessary and urgent situations.

Cafes, restaurant­s and teahouses will also only provide home delivery and takeaway services, while wedding halls, sports centers and game halls will be closed until the end of the Eid holiday marking the end of Ramadan in the country.

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