ANTALYA

A total of 301 hotels have received Safe Tourism Certification in southern Antalya city, often described as the tourism capital of Turkey known for its blue flagged beaches and historical artifacts and sites.

As part of measures adopted against the novel coronavirus, the resort city offers safe tourism opportunities for both local and foreign visitors thanks to the Safe Tourism Certification Program launched by Turkey’s ministries of foreign affairs, tourism and culture, health and transportation, along with sector shareholders.

The tourism industry in Antalya has gained momentum as local tourists and Ukrainian and British visitors have begun to flock to the city, staying in hotels included in the program.

According to data provided by the Turkey Tourism, Promotion and Development Agency, a total of 491 accommodation facilities have applied to the certification so far and 301 of them received the official document as of July 22. The documentation process is underway for the remaining facilities.

Also, 30 restaurants and cafes received documents for businesses and the process is underway for 36 others.

Ulkay Atmaca, the director of Professional Hotel Management Association, told Anadolu Agency that the hotels quickly realized the importance of readjusting their facilities amid the virus outbreak, thus reviewed their organizational structure in this regard.

Noting that tourists sought to stay in hotels having safety certification, Atmaca said the measures lived up to the expectations of local and international tourists seeking to enjoy a problem-free vacation in the resort city.

He went on to say that 25,000 workers employed in the tourism sector had been given online education in line with the certification program.

Erkan Yagci, the head of Union of Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers and Operators (AKTOB), said all tourism facilities were aware of the significance of the certification.

Yagci said great attention was attached to the issues of hygiene, disinfection and social distancing amid the pandemic.

Since appearing in China last December, the virus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

More than 15.29 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, with over 624,700 deaths, and more than 8.71 million recoveries.

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