Turkey's deserted resorts face make-or-break week

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 22, 2020 - Duration: 01:31s

Turkey's deserted resorts face make-or-break week

Turkey's Mediterranean coasts and historic attractions face a critical week as the government presses to open borders and salvage at least part of a tourist season.

Ciara Lee reports

Turkey's deserted resorts face make-or-break week

Tourism makes up 12% of Turkey's economy.

Last year holidaymakers brought in $35 billion in revenue.

Things changed though when most of the world went into lockdown.

The number of foreign visitors arriving plummeted by over 99% year-on-year in May.

Now, Turkey's Mediterranean coasts and historic attractions face a critical week.

The government is pressing to open borders and salvage at least part of the season.

But much depends on talks to begin flights from Russia, Germany and Britain.

To convince foreigners and their governments that travel is safe, Ankara has launched a "healthy tourism" programme.

It includes health and hygiene checks, and more than 600 hotels have applied for certification.

For one German tourist, the new way of working is a bonus: "Nothing has really changed in terms of having a quality holiday and that holiday feeling.

It is actually much better and is even cleaner than it used to be.

Of course, it is very difficult for everyone and for the staff, but they seem to have been well trained and everyone is really well prepared, that is our impression." Turkey hopes top tourist source Russia - which has the world's third-highest number of coronavirus cases - will start flights in mid-July.

Second-place Germany has a travel warning until the end of August but could lift it sooner.

The stakes are high for Turkey, where a rebound virus cases has raised concerns.

Further damage to tourism may put more pressure on the lira.

It hit a record low last month, adding to concerns over Turkey's diminished foreign currency reserves.

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