Tourism and Environment Minister Kutlu Evren received delegations consisting of the President and Board members of the Cyprus Turkish Hoteliers Association (KITOB) and the Cyprus Turkish Travel Agencies Association (KITSAB).
In the separate meetings, Minister Evren was thanked on behalf of the sector for the economic measures taken for the tourism sector which has been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evren: “Our hotels are important for promoting the country besides their economic added value.”
Tourism and Environment Minister Kutlu Evren first received the Cyprus Turkish Hoteliers Association (KITOB) delegation headed by Dimağ Çağıner.
Minister Evren, in his speech at the reception of KITOB officials, drew attention to the importance of hotels in terms of the tourism sector, and underlined that they are very important both in terms of their contribution to the country’s economy and their added value to other sectors, as well as the promotion and image of the country.
Stating that the support to be given to the sector as the Ministry is very important due to the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the magnitude of its impact on the tourism sector, Minister Evren said, “As someone who knows the private sector well, I can very well see the dimensions of the pandemic. For this reason, I believe that the contribution to be made to the tourism sector will indirectly be reflected in other sectors ”.
“It was very important for us to keep hotels open and to protect employment. For this reason, Minister Evren stated that the Council of Ministers made a decision to support a salary of 1,500 Turkish Liras every month for the hotel and casino employees for the period from 1st July to 31st December 2020, and said, “In order to keep the sector alive and to protect human resources. From June 2020, we made a decision, as the State, to undertake the social security contribution of the employer”.
Regarding electricity expenses, which is the most important input cost for businesses, he also stated that they have decided to give incentives to hotels at 0,25 Kurus per kilowatt.
Tourism and Environment Minister Evren said that due to COVID-19 they also worked with the authorities of the Republic of Turkey with regard to the award of a grant for the hotels.
Kutlu Evren, also stated that the next step will be to work intensively with the industry on how to develop the tourism sector in accordance with the changing conditions, taking into account the sensitivity of the country in terms of health, within the limited budget possibilities and limited time frame.
Çağıner: “These measures have provided a positive motivation in the sector”
In his speech, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Hoteliers Association, Dimağ Çağıner thanked Minister Evren on behalf of KITOB and stated that he came to power in the economic crisis faced by the country and especially the tourism sector since 1974, but gave great support to the sector in a short time.
In this process, Çağıner pointed out that there were measures that the government took quickly, and said that Minister Evren made a great contribution to the economic measures taken for the sector, including the protection of employment and increasing the number of flights, in order for the sector to survive.
Saying, “I want to thank the Prime Minister and government officials, but in particular to Kutlu Evren as the Minister of Tourism and Environment, on behalf of KITOB, for the measures taken for the sector,” said Çağıner, “We have done very important things in a short time. Although we have problems waiting in line, these measures taken as KITOB created motivation and a positive atmosphere for the future”.
Tourism and Environment Minister Kutlu Evren next met with the delegation of the Cyprus Turkish Travel Agencies Union (KITSAB).
Speaking at the meeting of the KITSAB delegation, headed by Orhan Tolun, Minister Evren pointed out that the tourism sector as a whole is very important and that travel agencies are also important in this respect.
Minister Evren stated that tourism agencies are one of the important sectors negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the light of these facts, some measures have been taken to ensure the survival of the entire tourism industry.
First of all, within the framework of financial possibilities, in order to protect the agencies and agency employees, they have taken the decision that the social insurance premiums that must be paid by the employer will be covered by the state until December 2020, together with the salary support of 1500 TL, within the period between August 2020 and June 2021.
Minister Evren also stated that, in line with the requests of KITSAB officials, a committee has been established between KITSAB and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment in order to make legal arrangements regarding KITSAB and the works are continuing.
Minister Evren, who also made statements about grants and incentives, stated that the studies on these issues are continuing rapidly.
Minister of Tourism and Environment, Kutlu Evren, underlined that the steps to be taken in order to develop tourism should be taken together with all tourism stakeholders, “When carrying tourism into 2021, what should be done, what should be added in order to diversify tourism and develop special interest tourism, I think we need to make use of this knowledge” he said.
Tolun: “We are pleased that the problems of the sector have been understood”
In his speech at the meeting, Orhan Tolun, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Travel Agencies Association (KITSAB), stated that the COVID-19 process was a troublesome area, especially for the tourism sector, and stated that they had negotiations with the government.
Tolun pointed out that with Kutlu Evren’s appointment as the Minister of Tourism and Environment, the work was even more efficient, and because the difficult process of the tourism sector was understood in a short time and the measures were taken quickly to help the sector to survive, he thanked Minister Evren on behalf of the sector.
Source (Turkish): Ministry of Tourism and Environment