12 April 2021
Corona virus has changed the ‘holiday’ understanding of domestic and foreign vacationers. While previously the open buffet restaurant, all-inclusive system, indoor concert, bar, disco, pools were asked, with the new period, holidaymakers mostly asked for corona virus measures, isolated vacation, their own pool, garden and a la carte restaurant. Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, the vacationer turned to shorter term booking. Facilities, on the other hand, made many physical changes in order to offer a safer holiday to vacationers.
Antalya, the capital of tourism, which hosts millions of tourists every year, completed last year in the shadow of the corona virus. The 5-star hotels in the city received a “safe tourism” certificate and promised a healthy and safe holiday to local and foreign holidaymakers.
The city, which hosted nearly 4 million tourists in the 2020 season under the shadow of the Corona virus, has also completed its preparations for the new season.
Facilities have made many physical changes to offer holidaymakers a safer holiday. Facility managers, who foresee that open spaces will be more popular this season, create activities where holidaymakers can spend more time in open areas instead of indoors.
One of the habits that changed with the pandemic was a vacation plan. Before the pandemic, vacationers made an early reservation by planning the destination and vacation time in the summer from the winter season, and turned to short-term reservations due to the ever-changing pandemic conditions with the new period.
In the Belek region, where 5-star hotels are located in the Serik district of Antalya, there is a reservation dynamism these days. Deniz Üstertuna, a board member of the Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD) and a hotel in the region, said that they foresee a very good season in 2020 if there was no pandemic, but the opposite happened.
Stating that tourism professionals are accustomed to crises, they face the pandemic calmly, and that they do not close their hotels and continue to serve their guests. Noting that habits have changed and vacationers no longer think about early bookings, Üstertuna said, “There is a decrease in early bookings. A situation brought about by uncertainty. There are too many destinations that have been closed. The holidaymaker is now waiting until the last minute or very recently due to reasons such as not being able to get the money for the flight ticket he canceled. This causes the hotelier to see less in front of him. As of now, the reservation occupancy rate in hotels is 40 percent, “he said.
Stating that they had been inspected for corona virus every other day, Üstertuna said that they were not disturbed by this, and that it was good in a sense to prevent complacency. Stating that people now want a more isolated vacation, Üstertuna said, “Without too many people getting into it. He started to prefer à la carte restaurants instead of buying from the buffet. The capacities of our restaurants are now being challenged. Open buffet is less preferred. Places with gardens and suitable outdoor areas are preferred, “he said.
Üstertuna stated that for the first time this year, domestic tourists also turned to the facilities in the domestic market due to the closure of most of the foreign holiday destinations due to the pandemic, and noted that the number of domestic tourists increased.
Stating that Russians are the driving force of the tourism industry this year, Üstertuna said, “Hotels can see 80 percent in terms of reservations during peak season. Since local tourists cannot go abroad, they will evaluate the locations in the country. This has found a reflection in all hotels. The number has increased even in hotels that accept fewer Turkish guests. Even in our country, the rate of Turkish guests, which was 7 percent in normal times, doubled. It turned out how important the domestic market is. Hotels with large gardens and open areas are advantageous in this period, “he said.