Antalya is seen as one of the top destinations by tourists worldwide due to the 206 eco-friendly beaches that it has to offer.
Blue Flag certification
The Blue Flag certification is recognised as an international program with 50 countries holding certification status. The certificate is an exclusive international economically friendly label awarded to beaches and marinas that meet the high criteria set out by the non-profit organisation, International Foundation for Environmental Education.
Blue Flag criteria
The Lara Barut hotel group were awarded Blue Flag status in Turkey this year. The coordinator of the TURCEV (Foundation for Environmental Education in Turkey) Lokman Atasoy explained that the environment, cleanliness of the sea, and water quality, all play a key role in the Blue Flag program. The program has been running for more than 30 years successfully in Turkey.
The quality of the sea water is analysed every 15 days and the beaches undergo inspections for cleanliness, pet control, lifeguards, recycling, and measures in place for disabled visitors.
Effect of COVID-19 on the beaches
COVID-19 has seen additional responsibilities for those who manage the beaches in Turkey, with assessment this year including hygiene checks and mask disposal facilities, as well as social distancing measures at the beaches. Antalya is home to the highest number of blue flag beaches in Europe, followed by Valencia in Spain and Occitane in France.
Tourist facilities in Turkey
According to Mehmet Nuri Esroy, the Culture and Tourism Minister of Turkey, July is expected to see nearly all tourist facilities in Turkey open for visitors. Whilst there are limited flights operating currently, flights are also expected to increase further this month with most countries planning to have flights operating again by the end of August as the world returns to the new normal.
Healthy Tourism Certificate in Turkey
With the launch of the “healthy tourism certificate” Turkey is doing its best to convince and assure travellers that regardless of the global pandemic, the tourist hotspots and beaches are safe to visit. This has been backed up by rigorous checks that are being undertaken at all Turkish airports, hotels in Turkey, and local transportation systems.
There is a set list of criteria that establishments must satisfy, and these include proving that social distancing and hygiene regulations are being followed. All members of staff also have to undergo training to prevent any potential spread of the pandemic in Turkey.