Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Republic of Turkey has initiated Healthy Tourism Certification program, which shall be applicable as of summer season of 2020. Healthy Tourism Certification, which is issued under the leadership of Ministry of Culture and Tourism and with the participation of Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in cooperation of all sector stakeholders, covers a broad range of measures which shall be taken towards transportation, accommodation, health condition of employees of the facilities and passengers. This certificate, which shall be granted by international certification institutions, will document the fulfilment of high level of health and hygiene requirements at airline companies, airports and other transportation, accommodation and food & beverage facilities.
Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Republic of Turkey has launched its Healthy Tourism Certification Program. The program, which will be applicable as of 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 with respect to the certification program that will be obtained from international certification institutions:
“Turkey has been role model for the world during Covid 19 with its well-established health system and treatment methods that has been taken. This certificate program demonstrates that Turkey will take a pioneering role in terms of setting the direction for the normalisation of tourism.
Today, global quarantine measures, which have been taken due to Covid-19, causing unique developments all around the world, are getting more flexible and tourism sector itself has a vital role in terms of returning to normal processes. The importance of caring our guests in our culture, leads us to be ready for the transition to healthy tourism prior to everyone. Our certification program shall ensure that our guests in Turkey are going to make their holidays in a safe and hygienic manner 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 four main pillars. 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 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 risk group in terms of travelling.
“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 spreading of the outbreak. In case of preventing such cases, processes that needs 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”, includes certain measures and regulations for air, land and marine transportation. Training of personnel of transportation vehicles, immunity certificate of the personnel, sterilisation of transportation vehicles and arrangement of passenger transportation system according to safe distance standards has been defined under the scope of the certificate.
Minister Ersoy emphasised the sensitivity and importance demonstrated in this subject through making the following statement regarding 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 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 website of our Ministry. We, as Republic of Turkey, are acting with 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 take this as leading principle and we will continue to take necessary actions based on this principle’’