With restrictions on travel to Turkey by Russia, United Kingdom and EU member states, the Turkish tourism industry is facing a heavy setback, but Turkish tourism professionals are hopeful to entertain domestic tourists this summer, expecting a record-breaking boom in the domestic market sales.
Mete Vardar, the CEO of Jolly Tourism, said he believes that the highest domestic market sales figure over the last 50 years in the tourism sector would be achieved if the normalization process continues as expected and if the number of vaccinations increases.
“It turned out that a nice holiday is just as important as vaccination is during this period. People are bored in their homes. We think that people will need more vacations this year,” Vardar said during a press meeting in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, adding that data also confirm these expectations.
“We will see exactly what we will encounter after June 15, but we are currently receiving an intense sales demand from the domestic market. We made three times as many sales as we expected,” he noted.
Stating that he aims to sell holiday packages to 370,000 people this year, Vardar said he expects the financial turnover to be 940 million Turkish Liras ($108 million).
Noting that the prices in the domestic market will increase by 40 percent after June 7, Vardar stressed that these prices might increase even more since the foreign market would be fully opened in 2022.
Meanwhile, as Turkey gradually reopens and returns to normal after days of strict COVID-19 restrictions, Turkish people poured into the streets on the first weekend day when a daytime curfew was not implemented.
Taking advantage of the sunny and warm weather in Istanbul, residents flocked to squares, parks and beaches to enjoy what the city offers after the easing of the measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Turkey is imposing a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and a full lockdown on Sundays till July.
In Istanbul’s posh Caddebostan coast, many residents cycled on the designated bike paths and took short walks near the coast, while some spent the day sitting on the lawns with their family members and friends.
Just like Caddebostan, Kadıköy’s Moda coast was also one of the attraction points that was flooded by citizens on the first “almost curfew-free Saturday.”
Those who wanted to visit Istanbul’s famous Princes’ Islands formed a queue of meters in front of the pier in Kadıköy, but the social distancing rules were completely ignored in the queue, where hundreds of people were waiting.
The coastline on the European side of Istanbul also hosted a large crowd of people.
With the increase in the vaccination rate in Turkey, COVID-19 measures are expected to ease further in the coming weeks.
Turkey has so far administered over 30.44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in mid-January, according to official figures released on June 5.
More than 17.43 million people have received their first doses, while over 13 million have been fully vaccinated, the Health Ministry’s data showed.
Hurriyet Daily News