Berlin ‘waiting on EU advice' before deciding on whether to lift Turkey travel warning

By bne IntelIiNews June 3, 2020

Germany is in discussions with Ankara on reviewing coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions that currently warn German citizens against taking holidays in Turkey but is waiting for European Union advice before taking any decisions, a German Foreign Ministry spokesman said on June 3.

"We are in talks with Turkey. The foreign minister already discussed this question with his Turkish colleague. We see that Turkey is making great efforts, but I can't give a forecast on how and when a decision will be taken," the spokesman told a government news conference in Berlin, Reuters reported.

In late May, Turkey was disappointed to not be included on a list of 31 European countries for which Germany lifted its tourism travel warning. Ankara says it has the country's virus outbreak under control and is introducing a "healthy tourism" programme to ensure tourism industry providers, including hotels, resorts and restaurants comply with special hygiene measures.

Germans make up one of the largest international tourist groups for the Turkish market and if the travel warning on Turkey remains in place this summer, it will be a huge blow for the country’s tourism industry, which has been pinning its hopes on a summer recovery after suffering badly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, more than 5mn German tourists visited Turkey, accounting for 11% of all international holidaymakers that arrived in the country. The numbers of German visitors stood at 3.6mn in 2017 and 4.5mn in 2018, years in which the market suffered from fears generated by an attempted coup against the Erdogan administration and a wave of terrorist attacks.

According to data from the Turkish Tourism Ministry, Turkey welcomed only 435 German tourists in April. In the first four months of the year, 357,000 Germans vacationed in Turkey, marking a 56% y/y decline. 

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