Arhan Syafrisyah Shah Anuar

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Turkey can work hand-in-hand in the tourism sector as the coronavirus pandemic forced the sector to renew its rules and services, bringing health and safety issues on the frontline, said Charge d’Affaires of the Malaysian Embassy in Turkey, Arhan Syafrisyah Shah Anuar.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in Ankara, Arhan Syafrisyah has applauded Ankara’s initiative for a new ‘safe tourism certificate’ programme.

“I personally think it’s a bold and good move that the government of Turkey made the initiative, to showcase to the world that Turkey’s tourism, under a safe guideline, is back, opening its doors to all,” he was quoted saying in the article by Anadolu, made available to Bernama by the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

Arhan Syafrisyah’s statement came after Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy announced that more than 2,000 hotels have finalised the measures to receive the ministry’s safe tourism certificate.

Addressing the event, where more than 50 countries’ ambassadors and tourism sector representatives attended, Ersoy said 400 hotels have implemented the entire criteria so far ― numbering 132 ― and received the certificate.

Ankara, with the aim of restarting the tourism industry this summer, has reopened half of the country’s tourism facilities in line with the new coronavirus-free certification programme.

“I think the certificate is a good initiative to inspire those in the industry that could encourage those from hoteliers to service providers to equip and ready themselves to meet the standard, for inspection and obtaining the certificate.

With the certificate, it would be a win-win for all,” said Arhan Syafrisyah.

A total of 114,214 Malaysians visited Turkey and 15,406 Turkish citizens visited Malaysia in 2019, compared to some 95,591 Malaysians having visited Turkey and 15,396 Turkish citizens having visited Malaysia in 2018.

Meanwhile, Turkish Ministry Of Culture and Tourism, in a press statement, said ambassadors of top countries sending tourists to Turkey and international media were given an opportunity to experience Turkey’s “Safe Tourism” practices through “ReTurkey” meeting held on June 19-20 in Antalya, one of the most visited cities in Turkey.

The “ReTurkey” meeting has helped observe on-site all details a tourist will encounter as well as all safety measures taken under the ‘Safe Tourism Certification Programme’ from the aeroplane to the airport, transfer vehicle to the hotel. – Bernama