Turkish hotels get ready for tourism season amid virus
Hotels design their facilities, including buffets, beaches, lobbies, pools, to ensure social distancing
Hotels in Turkey's Mediterranean resort city of Antalya are getting prepared for the tourism season with the normalization period over the pandemic.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Turkey will normalize gradually during the May-July period.
Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the tourism and culture minister, also said the tourism season is expected to start with the Eid al-Fitr holiday -- to mark the end of Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- late May.
The ministry issued a hygiene notice last week to inform hotels about COVID-19 measures, such as social distancing and hygiene rules.
After the ministry's notice, hotels started to design their facilities, including buffets, beaches, lobbies and pools, to ensure social distancing.
Hotels set up thermal cameras on their entrances to measure body temperatures of their staff and customers.
They will also use disinfection systems for customer baggages during the season.
Buffets were removed, and the staff will serve meals for customers. Desserts, fruits and salads will be served in single-use plates.
Sunbeds are placed at the beach and poolside at a distance of 1.5 meters, and towels are planned to be delivered in bags.
Room key cards will be disinfected with ultraviolet lamps, while disposable pens will be used in lobbies.
Rooms will not be used for 24 hours after vacating, and elevators will not be used by more than one person, except families.
TV and air conditioning remote controls will be disinfected in guest rooms and all textiles will be washed over 70 degrees Celsius.
Caglar Bayrakci, the general manager of the tourism complex Susesi Luxury Resort, said all hotels have to follow the rules of the ministry.
While almost hotel services will continue, there will be fewer visitors and more personnel, he noted.
"We expect to start the season as of June, after the Eid," he said.
The pandemic has killed nearly 302,500 people worldwide with over 4.44 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 1.58 million.
The outbreak damaged several sectors, especially the aviation, travel and tourism, around the world.
In Turkey, the virus has infected 144,749 people so far and caused 4,007 deaths.
* Writing and contribution by Gokhan Ergocun from IstanbulAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.