Is it safe to travel Cappadocia after the coronavirus outbreak?

Is it safe to travel Cappadocia after the coronavirus outbreak?
Is it safe to travel Cappadocia after the coronavirus outbreak? 18.05.2020

As the Covid-19 virus pandemic continues to spread around the world, factors affecting tourists’ destination choice changes significantly. Undoubtedly, such changes in travel behaviour will have many implications for the future of the tourism industry. 

As crowded places are perceived to be high-risk zones, one expected implication after the outbreak is the emergence of a new trend and culture of travelling which favours places with low population density. The underlying idea is that people would avoid visiting highly populated touristic places to minimise the risk of infection. If this proves to be true, the world's most famous sites can see a major decline in visitor numbers while less touristy destinations attract more travellers. 

From this perspective, if growing travel anxiety results in a dramatic shift on tourists' decision making on choosing a destination in the favour of less populated places, Cappadocia can become a more popular destination in future. But will it be really safe to travel Cappadocia regardless of its favourable population characteristics?  

Coronavirus in Cappadocia

Before going through the details, it is better to start off by summarizing the situation in Cappadocia with numbers. So far, no case of coronavirus has been reported in Goreme, the centre of Cappadocia, although more than 100.000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Turkey since the outbreak while 27 people were infected with COVID-19 in a small village located in the countryside of Nevşehir. However, Nevşehir County immediately took drastic measures by enforcing quarantine and lockdown on the village to stop the potential spread of novel coronavirus through Cappadocia. Consequently, these measures worked out well and no case of coronavirus has been detected since then. 

Data suggests that Istanbul and Izmir have been hit the most by Covid-19 among cities of Turkey with 12,231 and 1,105 confirmed cases respectively while Cappadocia seems to be one of the least affected regions with merely 27 confirmed cases and 0 deaths (COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey, 2020). Given these statistics, it appears that Nevşehir (Cappadocia), luckily, has escaped the coronavirus. At this point, The question then arises, "How Cappadocia, particularly the town of Goreme, remained unaffected by Covid-19 despite the high tourism intensity during the initial stages of the pandemic?” 

One explanation may lie in the fact that most hotels are boutique in Cappadocia which are typically small properties allowing travellers to easily maintain social distancing. Another reason might be that all museums in Cappadocia are open-air and not equipped with a ventilation system which is found to play a significant role in spreading the virus (Wikipedia, 2020). Given these points, it can be argued that there is relatively less risk of Covid-19 transmission in Cappadocia thanks to some location-specific features that make social distancing easier, though better note that no place on earth can be deemed as a fully coronavirus free holiday destination.

Reference List: En.wikipedia.org. 2020. COVID-19 Pandemic In Turkey. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 May 2020].

 

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