Within the scope of the pandemic struggle that has been going on for almost a year and a half in Turkey, we have recently entered a complete closure process, the complete closure process is about to end. Everyone’s expectation is that businesses such as cafes, restaurants and hotels that provide tourism services gradually open according to the new normalization after full closure. Unfortunately, the fact that this is the expectation does not change the direction of the statements, the government has not yet provided information on what steps to take after the full closure. Therefore, operators and tourism customers cannot make any decisions and plan.
When we look at the reservations in the tourism sector, there is no dynamism in reservations, which are expected to increase after full closure, due to the delay of these statements. The expectation is to overcome the pandemic regularly and start normalization with the application of the vaccination card. Tourism has come to a standstill due to the wrong practices of the government in the period of complete closure. Foreign tourists were allowed to visit in our country, yes, but let’s come, nobody wants to visit a country during the lockdown process, let’s say that this time, most of the museums and archaeological sites were closed. Another issue that the Ministry of Tourism had to consider while allowing foreign tourists in this complete closure was where these tourists would travel. However, almost 75% of museums and archaeological sites were closed, especially in the East and Southeast region, where new and great steps were taken in terms of tourism.
Despite the complete closure process, we showed the tourist right and left, we gave permission, but we left no place to visit. During this period, the lack of an explanation after the disappointment and the absence of reservations make the tourism sector employees think once again.
Our Ministry of Tourism, unfortunately, gave freedom to foreign tourists during the complete closure process with a critical mistake, but did not take into account which museums and archaeological sites these tourists would visit. Foreign tourists and agencies that welcomed foreign tourists were literally tortured during the closure process. Any museum could be opened for 1-2 hours with 1 or 2 staff if necessary, by receiving the requests of the places they want to visit by foreign tourists, but since the decision was left to the museums themselves, it was decided not to open a Mardin museum and foreign tourists coming to Mardin could not visit the Mardin Museum. Unfortunately, all efforts and insistence of tourism agencies and guides did not yield any results. I ask you, how correct is this point of view in a city like Mardin trying to get a denominator from international tourism?
Despite everything, foreign tourists coming to Turkey for support could not get what they expected. These negative returns will have an impact on the vaccinated tourism personnel and vaccination card application that will begin recently. This critical coordination problem will also emerge at these stages. As you know, the tourism season was almost empty before the full closing and as you know, the full closing was not able to travel, eat and spend as you know. As the tourism workers questioning the industry since the beginning of the year, they look for hope in other sectors as they fall into trouble, maybe they have to quit their jobs in the hope that they will come back or they are removed. Businesses get smaller as they get smaller, and even the operator does not open a business unless it is obliged to increase the costs. Tourism workers are now hoping for a post-closure. But since no explanation or planning about how the system will operate has not been announced, it throws the last pennies in his pocket. The absence of reservations shows that the summer season will be weak in cultural tourism. Our hope as a cultural tourism region is in September and October. If the disappointed foreign tourist does not come on this date, will domestic tourism meet the expectations? No way.
For this reason, tourism sector workers and employers are now turning their hopes to other sectors, and the personnel who hope to find a place in sectors with high circulation such as marketing, sales, merchandising and service sector will turn their eyes to these sectors with low income by the end of June. At the end of the year, I guess that we can see tourism workers dispersed in many sectors. Even in news feeds there are already tourism operators looking for a job, so I can’t think of tourism personnel. Before the tourism sector disperses, measures should be taken, support should be given and this dispersal should be prevented. Otherwise, if the tourism sector tries to recover after disintegration, the sector will be filled with inexperienced and incompetent people and this will affect the tourism of Turkey from its roots.