Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Republic of Turkey has launched its Healthy Tourism Certification Program. The program, which will be applicable as of the summer season of 2020 includes a broad range of measures for transportation, accommodation, health condition of employees for facilities and passengers.
Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Republic of Turkey, has made the following statement concerning the certification program that will be obtained from international certification institutions:
“Turkey has been a role model for the world during COVID-19 with its well-established health system and treatment methods that have been taken. This certificate program demonstrates that Turkey will take a pioneering role in terms of setting the direction for the normalization of tourism.
Global quarantine measures, which have been taken due to COVID-19, causing unique developments all around the world, and today these measures are getting more flexible. The tourism sector itself has a vital role in terms of returning to normal processes. The importance of caring for our guests in our culture, leads us to be ready for the transition to healthy tourism before everyone. Our certification program shall ensure that our guests in Turkey are going to make
their holidays safely and hygienicly and feel comfortable during their visit. Our program covers preventive and protective steps including air, marine and land transportation, arrival ports, all facilities providing a holiday experience, health condition of employees in the industry, and tourists themselves. We will encourage all of our transportation and accommodation facilities to take all precautions for a healthy holiday through obtaining the certificate.”
Healthy Tourism Certification program consists of 4 main pillars.
The certification program of Turkey consists of 4 main pillars which are “Health and Safety of the Passenger”, “Health and Safety of the Employee”, “Precautions taken at Facilities” and “Precautions taken in terms of Transportation”.
“Health and Safety of the Passenger”; covers the precautions which are required to be implemented in terms of passengers from the time of check-in until their check-out. It includes; not allowing passengers without a mask to enter respective terminals, providing free of charge masks to passengers, application of thermal camera and body temperature measurement at the entrance of terminal buildings, preparing disinfection carpets and disinfection cabins, if required, apply the required protocols for the passengers that are diagnosed as a risk group in terms of traveling.
“Health and Safety of the Employee”; covers precautions with respect to ensuring physically and mentally healthy personnel at transportation, accommodation, and food & beverage facilities. Procedures such as hygiene and sanitation trainings of the personnel, psychological support, providing required hygiene/health equipment, controlling of the personnel both with thermal cameras are required standards and also thermometers and planning shifts, holding meetings and regular health checks of personnel, etc. comprise other articles included under this title.
“Precautions taken at Facilities”, covers steps which required to be taken in order to prevent the spreading of the outbreak. In case of preventing such cases, processes that need to be implemented by the accommodation, food & beverage facilities have been defined under the scope of the certificate. Certification ensures implementation and controlling of measures such as social
distance, contact, isolation which are required to control the spread of pandemic within the personnel working at such facilities.
“Precautions taken in terms of Transportation vehicles”, include certain measures and regulations for air, land, and marine transportation. Training of personnel of transportation vehicles, immunity certificate of the personnel, sterilization of transportation vehicles, and arrangement of passenger transportation system according to safe distance standards have been defined under the scope of the certificate.
Minister Ersoy emphasized the sensitivity and importance demonstrated in this subject through making the following statement regarding the certificate program and dates in terms of normalizing process subsequent to COVID-19:
“We have completed pandemic protocols and certification protocols issued separately in terms of airports, domestic airlines, highways, and tourism facilities as of May 4, 2020. We are also planning to start the implementation of the certification process for hotels as of May. We will start listing the facilities, obtaining such certificate, as of June 1, 2020 through all channels including the website of our Ministry.
We, as Republic of Turkey, are acting with a sense of responsibility in order to ensure both our citizens and our guests, arriving to our country, to feel comfortable during their visit. There is a proverb stating the hospitality of Turkish people: “Latch string is always out!” (You are more than welcome). We have always taken this as the leading principle and we will continue to take necessary actions based on this principle’’.