Domestic tourism in Turkey has begun as it returns to "new normal," and the country is revving up efforts to gradually reopen to international travelers.
In this regard, hotels have started to design their facilities, including buffets, lobbies and pools, to maintain social distancing.
A safe tourism certification program has also been introduced to ensure if airlines, airports and other transportation facilities, accommodations and food venues are fulfilling the set hygiene standards.
Hotels and restaurants are submitting their applications to obtain the certificate based on 150 control points.
According to Muberra Eresin, the head of the Turkish Tourist Hotels and Investors Association (TUROB), Turkey's certification program is one of the most comprehensive in the world.
"We will provide 25% discount to our members and 15% to municipal certified hotels within the framework of our agreement with RoyalCert. It is also valuable to attract tourists from around the world, especially from Europe, to make global audits," she said.
RoyalCert International Registrars, a Germany-based, independent assessment and certification body, has been authorized to issue these certificates.
The CEO of RoyalCert Turkey, Alphan Namli, said the company audits businesses on 150 criteria, of which 12 are related with food, and 15 with accommodation facilities.
Pointing to the detailed inspection from the entrance of the hotel to the emergency exit, from rooms to the kitchens, and from halls to the pools, Namli said the certificates will be hung [at reception or in the lobby] such that all customers could see, and find out further details through a QR code.
"For the first time in Turkey, we will audit hotels and restaurants according to criteria similar to NASA's health and hygiene standards," he said.
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical, physical, and radiological hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe. It outlines measures to reduce these risks to a safe level.
Many competing countries will follow Turkey in this regard, he added.
* Written by Aysu Bicer in Ankara