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Turkey’s Convention Tourism receives due recognition

6 Mayıs 2014 , Salı 11:15
Turkey’s Convention Tourism receives due recognition
melis.sunay@halklailiskiler.com

There is usually an added attraction for conventions especially if they’re organized in cities that also appeal to participants due to their historic, nostalgic, romantic --- basically, touristic charm.  As many friends have proven in recent years, such conventions seem to be an added bonus, for the locations are sometimes the persuading force behind their professional missions.

Noticing various comments with attached photos on facebook in line with this argument, I naturally wondered as to how many such conventions take place here, not only because I’ve noticed the rapidly increasing number of such large convention hotels on the outskirts of Istanbul, but also since I already recognize the country as exceptional for offering year-round tourism opportunities to all visitors.  I asked around and checked out a few web-sites to uncover some quite pleasing data to appease my curiosity.

As it turns out, according to a report recently published by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), Turkey has witnessed a significant rise in the number of international conventions over the last decade, accounting for a substantial share of the country’s tourism revenue. Convention tourism, as the report reveals, accounts for 30 percent of total tourism revenue throughout the world since those attending conventions spend 3 times more than seasonal tourists. The report further anticipates a total $3 billion in tourism revenue from conventions for Turkey in 2014, with Istanbul receiving a $1.7 billion slice of the pie.  I was also quite pleased to find out that the number of conventions taking place in Turkey with over 500 participants is currently increasing at twice the speed as world average rates; an added bonus for the country’s economy no doubt.

According to this report, there are already 57 conventions due to take place in Istanbul in 2014 and another 20 already scheduled for 2015; the number of conventions scheduled for Turkey for the time being, meanwhile, stand at 106.

Various organizations in Turkey have naturally gotten on the bandwagon to assist this upsurge by placing convention tourism on their agendas for the upcoming years, highlighting Turkey’s outstanding potential in this front.

EMITT (the East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition) website, points to Istanbul as an ideal city for conventions, underscoring its capacity to host from 100 to 30,000 and above visitors as well as being able to accommodate thousands of delegates at its seven major international exhibition centers and three performing arts centers.

EMITT director Hacer Aydın notes that the most recent ICCA (International Conference and Convention Association) data shows that Turkey ranked 14th in Europe and 23rd worldwide in a total of 159 international events, emphasizing that cities specifically as Istanbul, along with Antalya, Izmir have the makings far beyond than what is reflected with respect to city infrastructure, geography, culture and historical background.  Aydın offers Turkey’s rise from its 20th spot in world tourism rankings in the 1990’s to its current 6th rank in such a short term as proof for her claim.  

The increase in the number of fairs and exhibitions in the country have been a major force behind this as they inform and thus attract countless institutions and organizations to boost Turkey’s tourism sector in all fronts.

 CNR Fairs Director Ceyda Erem adds that Turkey organizes some of the largest fairs in the world currently thanks to both economic and political stability as well as the country’s rapid industrial advances.  As fairs in Turkey grow, she notes, those in Europe are shrinking, leading to more than doubling the number of international visitors and a 50 Percent increase in the number of firms taking part in Turkish exhibitions.

Thanks to such organizers and their unique new tactics, current exhibition centers are enlarging even more to meet the demand of future attendees and partakers.  Convention tourism is thus receiving additional attention assisting in its growth and attracting more and more professionals from all around, especially organization consulting firms, convention hotels and conference centers on annual basis.

 

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