How Did The Pandemic Affect Tourism?
The COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the whole world also has hurt tourism in Turkey. However, Turkey, and especially Izmir, have been amongst the countries and cities that have managed the pandemic very well, thanks to the precautions taken at the right time and in the light of the recommendations of the scientists, and its people who have taken these recommendations seriously and obeyed the rules.
Izmir has taken all the necessary steps to safely host its guests and continue to be the leading city in the tourism industry.
The effect of the pandemic with numbers
The number of international tourists in the world had increased sevenfold over the past 40 years, reaching 1.4 billion tourists from 200 million. Tourism-related income rose to $ 1.7 trillion. However, the coronavirus outbreak affected tourism activities negatively and the hotel occupancy rates in the world have decreased significantly. These rates fell to 20 percent last March in the largest cities in the world, where the hotel occupancy rate ranged between 70 and 100 percent under normal conditions. The hotel occupancy rate in Europe in March has been the lowest level since World War II. Turkey's hotel occupancy rate in March was 28.6 percent, a 50 percent decrease compared to the same period of the last year. According to the latest data published by Turkey's Statistics Institute, the number of foreign tourists in Turkey decreased by 99 percent in April. In the first quarter of the year, tourism revenues decreased to $4.1 billion, an 11.4 percent decrease compared to the same period of 2019.
Restrictions are finally over, now it is time for safe tourism
Undoubtedly, the biggest reason for the decline in tourism to be so serious was the travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. Like many other countries, Turkey had also closed its borders to foreigners when the pandemic was spreading fast. Furthermore, Turkey had endorsed a travel restriction within the country that made it impossible from one metropolis to another. Besides, a curfew was imposed on weekends and public holidays in many cities for two months. Naturally, these restrictions caused both domestic and foreign tourism almost to stop. Turkey has been able to control the outbreak better than many other countries and as a result of this, the daily number of cases regularly exceeds the number of recovered patients, which means that the pandemic is in decline. This allowed the travel restrictions to be removed. Now there is no obstacle in traveling from one city to another in Turkey. International flights also started as of June 10.
Izmir, "The Pearl of the Aegean", has also taken all the necessary precautions for its guests to have a safe holiday in this new period and as always, is ready to offer a unique holiday experience to its visitors.
Beautiful Izmir, Safe Izmir
The Ministry of Health and the Science Committee evaluate the latest situation in Turkey regularly and announce the cities where people are obliged to wear masks outdoors. This obligation currently is valid for 50 of 81 Turkish cities. Izmir is not one of them, proving that the city is one of the least-affected tourism destinations. Even so, the city doesn’t hesitate to take the necessary precautions despite this low risk. For example, thermal cameras were installed at 20 different spots of the city. Besides, in addition to the measures enforced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, an Orange Circle Certificate Program has been implemented for restaurants, cafes, and hotels with the coordination of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and the Izmir Foundation, to ensure that tourism activities can be carried out healthily. In addition to these measures and the certificate program, when we take the city's world-class health institutions and staff into consideration, “Beautiful Izmir” has deserved to receive a new nickname, which is “Safe Izmir.”
The Orange Circle ensures safe tourism in Izmir
By starting to the Orange Circle certificate program that brings new criteria in addition to the ones entailed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Izmir differs itself from the other holiday destinations in Turkey. Within the scope of the program, the Izmir Tourism Hygiene Board was established with the cooperation of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and Izmir Foundation. The Board, which includes members and scientists from different organizations, has determined the hygiene standards that must be fulfilled to carry out tourism services in a healthy way, Businesses that meet these standards are entitled to receive the Orange Circle certificate. To know more about these criteria, you can check this article. If you want to spend your summer in Beautiful Izmir, you can have a peaceful holiday thanks to the Orange Circle program. By preferring the restaurants, bars, and hotels that have the Orange Circle certificate when you come to Izmir, you can be sure that your facility takes the necessary precautions for the COVID-19 pandemic
On the other hand, our citizens who currently live in Izmir can also use these businesses with the Orange Circle certificate to have a safe normalization period.