Hotels in Turkey, especially in Istanbul and other tourist areas, need urgent seismic testing to reassure tourists. This statement was made by local experts on the pages of the Turkish tourism media. From their point of view, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism should immediately make it mandatory to obtain a safe building certificate indicating seismic resistance for all hotels and other buildings used for tourism purposes, especially in Istanbul and other tourist areas recognized as unsafe.
First of all, the experts recalled in this regard the theories put forward by seismologists of the “proximity of an earthquake in Istanbul” – we recall that it was put forward in particular by German experts (read the details here) – and Germany in 2022 became the largest tourist market for Turkey, overtaking even Russia. “If Istanbul, home to more than 16 million people and producing 55% of the Turkish economy, experiences an earthquake with the same tragic consequences, it will lead Turkey to a complete economic disaster,” experts say.
At the same time, tourism deserves special attention. “The issue of earthquake resistance of hotels came to the fore after a group of guides and young athletes were left under the rubble at the collapsed Adıyaman Grand Isias hotel in Adiyaman. We critically need to document that tomorrow our hotels cannot collapse like this hotel,” said tourism expert Deniz Emin Tufekci in his article. According to him, the tourist absolutely needs confidence in the seismic resistance of the buildings and hotels in which they will live.
“The question – whether our hotel will also collapse in which case – will be in every tourist’s head, this is natural. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism should immediately make it mandatory for hotels in our country, especially in Istanbul and our cities on known seismic fault lines, to obtain a safe building certificate indicating seismic resistance,” the expert states. Hotels that fail to receive such a certificate should stop working, he adds.
A similar experience has already been during the pandemic, Mr. Tyufekci adds. The hotels quickly took care of obtaining a certificate of safe tourism for recreational purposes. “Creating” a certificate for seismic resistance, according to him, is not much more difficult. “By measuring the vibration period of the earth and the structure using the microtremor method, it is now possible to quickly estimate how many earthquakes a building can withstand without damaging the building, core drilling or damaging the concrete,” the Turkish expert added. He also stressed that there is already a similar experience. “Japan is a country where earthquakes happen all the time, but no tourist is afraid to travel because of it, and they never stop seeing Japan. They know that the buildings are safe enough,” Mr. Tufekci said. Otherwise, according to him, competitors will certainly take advantage of the earthquake to “sink” the Turkish tourism industry, which is vital for the country.
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