Best of Turkey group participants in Bursa.
Tripuri Travel recently hosted a series of Familiarization (FAM) trips to promote their 8 Days 5 Nights Best of Turkey (BOT) Tour Package between the 21st to 28th of July, inviting our top travel agents across Indonesia to visit Turkey after they recently reopened its borders for tourism after 4 months of lockdown. Given the past 6 months of hardship in the travel industry, the Best of Turkey Fam trip has become a milestone for many to mark the beginning of the new normal era in tour and travel.
The purpose of the FAM trip was to give Tripuri Travels’ top agents the opportunity to experience firsthand and familiarize themselves with our Best of Turkey tour package in line with the new health and safety protocols put in place to minimize coronavirus risks during traveling.
As a responsible travel agency that prioritizes the health and safety of our tour group participants, Tripuri Travel requires all participants to undergo Covid-19 rapid test a few days prior to departure.
Airport and In-flight Health and Safety Protocols
Since Turkey’s entry requirements did not include a COVID-19 test, the tour group was not asked of it in the check in counter - unlike other destinations. To minimize staff-passenger interaction, the entire immigration and boarding process was contactless. Passengers were responsible for scanning their boarding passes and passports, with 2 meter markers placed throughout immigration and boarding gates to reinforce social distancing between passengers in line.
Turkish Airlines’ in-flight safety protocols were executed efficiently and effectively to minimize the spread of Covid-19 between passengers. The airline provided passengers with a health kit fully equipped with hand sanitizers, antiseptic wet wipes, and a mask. Throughout the flight, passengers were strictly instructed to keep their masks on - even when sleeping - with the exception of meal times. Passengers who slept without masks on were gently nudged awake to be asked to apply their mask. To minimize the risk of infection by the virus from eating, passengers were given a meal box, canned/bottled drinks, and plastic utensils to use. In addition, the cabin crew wore a face mask, face shield, and hand gloves throughout the entire flight.
Upon arrival in the Istanbul Airport, all passengers must submit a Health Declaration form in immigration. Since passengers were not required to show proof of a negative covid test result to travel, those who showed symptoms of covid-19 (high fever, coughing, or difficulty in breathing) on arrival would be required to take a PCR swab test in the airport that costs TR 110 (approx. US$16) for Turkish citizens and TR 220 (approx. US$32) for foreigners. The Istanbul airport was recently reported to have signed the ‘Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol and received the ‘Airport Pandemic Certificate’. Their health and safety protocols in Istanbul include a series of diverse measures concerning all stakeholders in the community such as physical distancing, health safety promotions, disinfection, reduced crew-passenger interaction, respiratory etiquette, and more.
When departing, since the entry requirements to travel back to Indonesia included a PCR swab test health certificate, Istanbul Airport provided a PCR swab test service that takes between 4 to 6 hours.
New Normal in Turkey
The FAM trip participants travelled to a total of 7 cities across Turkey - Istanbul, Bursa, Kusadari, Pamukkale, Cappadocia, and Ankara. All tours were led by Bahasa Indonesian speaking Turkish National tour guides, ensuring clear communication when providing assistance or information.
Over the past 6 months, Covid-19 has evolved hospitality and tourism to promote the health and safety of staff and visitors. Upon entering hotels and tourist sites in Turkey, all visitors undergo standard temperature checks and are provided with hand sanitizers in entrances. Though all staff wore masks in tourist destinations, they did not require visitors to wear one. But, Tripuri Travel strongly recommended group participants to wear one in public settings for their own safety. Since our tour package provides participants with a 4-star hotel, there is a standard health and safety protocol that includes regular disinfection of elevators and hotel rooms.
“It felt like a private vacation”, said a fam trip participant. He reported that there were little to no crowds in the majority of the tourist destinations, restaurants, and hotels that the group visited. When transporting from one city to another, our tour participants were strictly instructed to leave an empty seat beside them on our bus to avoid the spread of covid from one participant to another.
Returning from Turkey to Indonesia
As the Indonesian government still have strict travel regulations surrounding covid-19, health protocols upon arrival in Soekarno Hatta airport were more extensive. The FAM trip group participants reported the health checks added an additional hour to the immigration process. There are mandatory requirements for passengers arriving from international flights must provide in immigration, such as the following:
Health certificate in english, stating a negative Covid-19 PCR test result. Only valid for a maximum of 7 days after date of issue
OR, passengers with a health certificate based on Rapid Test or without a health certificate must conduct a Rapid Test in the arrival area (approx. US$10)
A 3-page Health Declaration Form provided on the spot
Failure to get a negative covid-19 test would lead to an immediate 2-week quarantine in the designated locations prepared by the government.
Thankfully, all 24 group participants arrived back to Indonesia with a negative PCR Covid-19 swab test result.
Best of Turkey Tour Package
In celebration of the success of the first ever Indonesian tour group to Turkey after the Covid-19 pandemic led by Tripuri Travel, we are now offering the exclusive 8 Days 5 Nights Best of Turkey travel package for a great deal starting from IDR 12,500,000.
For more information, don’t hesitate to contact Tripuri Travel at +62215324477.