The idea of a holiday in Turkey may seem like a dream at the moment, but stay positive. Many industry experts are tipping Turkey as a hot destination again this summer, and it’s hoped the rollout of the new vaccines will finally curb the spread of the virus allowing travel restrictions to ease.
Here’s a look at what the experts say about travel this year and some predictions for tourism in Turkey in 2021.
Turkey hopes to attract 25 million tourists in 2021.
According to Reuters, although it may take up to two years for Turkey to return to pre-pandemic tourism figures, the country hopes to attract 25 million tourists during 2021.
Ülkay Atmaca, head of the Turkish Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD), believes Turkey’s swift action to limit the spread of the virus early on has helped boost early bookings.
Atmaca told Anadolu Agency (AA), “The healthy and safe holiday opportunity Turkey offers to tourists has reflected positively on 2021 reservations”.
Tourism in Turkey in 2020
2020 was a year like no other. No one could have foreseen the challenges the world would face over the past twelve months. Nearly a year on, it’s easy to look back over what could have been done differently during the pandemic, but all things considered, Turkey did remarkably well.
Official statistics show that Turkey attracted just over 12 million tourists during the first 11 months of 2020, down 79% year-on-year due to travel restrictions, border closures and COVID-19. Thankfully, the Turkish government’s prompt health, safety and hygiene measures, plus the Safe Tourism Certificate program put in place by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, ensured Turkey and Fethiye had a tourist season, albeit for just a few months.
Kaan Kavaloğlu, Vice-Chairperson of the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB) said, “we have become an example for the whole world with the healthy tourism certificate.” He noted, “our competitors Spain, Egypt, Greece, and even France have taken our applications as an example.”
Tourism in Turkey 2021 – what to expect.
Many tourism experts share Turkey’s positive outlook for 2021 and believe travel and holidays abroad are again on the horizon. However, as most point out, it will be some time before precautions lift and the world returns to normality.
1. Vaccination certificates or negative COVID-19 results likely to become the norm.
Airlines and tour operators are understandably eager to resume full operations as soon as it’s safe to do so. With Covid-19 vaccinations now rolled out in many countries, industry experts predict travellers will need to carry proof they have received the vaccine or produce a negative Covid-19 test result to gain entry into many countries.
In a recent Conde Nast Traveler article, they report, “it’s fair to assume that soon, hotels, airlines, and immigration services may require proof of vaccination before you’re allowed to travel.” Post-vaccination travel is a hot topic right now. The media is full of articles discussing the pros and cons of vaccination or immunity passports or e-vaccination certificates, but as yet it is unclear what measures Turkey will put in place for this summer.
2. Elderly travellers may be the first to getaway.
According to the Financial Times, “given that many national coronavirus vaccination programs are prioritising older people first, it seems possible that a lucky group of elderly travellers could find themselves in the vanguard, with a unique opportunity to travel in 2021”. The article suggests that many older travellers, having been confined to their homes for so long, are eager to visit their favourite destinations once it’s safe to do so.
3. Many tourists will continue to holiday at home
Fethiye and its resorts entertained a surge in domestic tourists last summer, and this trend is set to continue in 2021. Many Turks who traditionally travelled abroad for vacations decided to head to the coast. Private holiday homes in Ovacik, Hisaronu and Calis were the accommodation of choice around Fethiye, allowing large families to enjoy privacy and comfort at a reasonable price.
4. Hygiene, health and social distancing measures are set to remain
It’s believed that wearing face masks in public and the need to socially distance will remain necessary this year. Until the majority of the public are vaccinated, a risk still exists. These measures are believed by many to be the “new normal”.
4. Private holiday home rentals in Turkey will continue to be popular
The importance of social distancing has been drilled into us all the past year, and having spent prolonged periods indoors, most of us now crave space. Angels Rentals had a busy 2020 summer season, and apartment and villa rentals in Fethiye were a popular choice. Budget-friendly and spacious, rental properties offer a home from home, allowing you to spend quality time with friends and family and stay clear of the tourist crowds.
5. More people will work remotely, buy properties abroad or travel for longer.
With schools and businesses closed, and people working remotely, less emphasis is placed on staying close to the office. Turkey is a 4-hour flight from the UK, the weather is fantastic, plus the cost of living is far cheaper. With excellent internet connections from rental properties and holiday homes around Fethiye, and a wide range of affordable property for sale in Turkey, an extended stay with the opportunity of working from your home abroad is now a plausible option.
The bottom line.
With vaccines now in play, the prospect of safer travel abroad in 2021 is a lot brighter. As the summer approaches, many of the current travel and border restrictions should ease, allowing people to travel with more confidence and freedom.
Although it would be silly to assume travel will return to “normal”, more tourists are lightly to take to the sky and enjoy holidays in Turkey this summer. Business travellers, those with the financial means or properties in Turkey are likely to be first to come, followed by those that have received the vaccination or simply love the country and return each year.