More than 500 tour operators and travel agents from around the world are expected to converge on Istanbul for the annual Turkish inbound travel show and conference from 25 to 27 May. Travel Turkey 2006 will be held at the Lütfi Kirdar International Congress and Exhibition Hall and will encourage the trade to sell more Turkish content. German event organiser Hannover-Messe International (HMI) is organising the show, in collaboration with the Turkish Union of Travel Agents (TURSAB).
Travel Turkey is aimed at international buyers of travel-related services. It aims to provide a single showcase for the country’s diverse array of travel products. Turkey currently generates nearly two percent of all tourism revenues worldwide, but HMI says the country’s potential is still largely untapped.
Travel Turkey is well on its way to becoming Turkey’s foremost travel show. The event is being held with the support of the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Also, this year’s event has the support of the Turkish Private Aviation Enterprises Association (TOSHID), the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) and the Istanbul Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB).
A wide range of travel products will be on show including eco-tourism, adventure, sport, art and culture, educational and fitness holidays. Istanbul itself will be promoted as a city-break for European visitors.
Exhibitors include tourist service providers, regions, themed tours, travel agents and the hotel and restaurant sectors. Another focal point of Travel Turkey 2006 will be Wellness and Spa programmes, which will participate in a special area at the fair.
Ten of Turkey’s regions have confirmed its participation. These include Istanbul, Izmir and Diyarbakir; the Trabzon and Kastamonu provinces from the Black Sea; Mu_la and Çanakkale from the Aegean region; and Çorum, Erzurum and _anliurfa. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Malaysia, South Korea, Northern Cyprus and Greece, will also participate.
Travel Turkey 2006 will include an international tourism conference. Speakers will examine the potential in incentive tourism, investment opportunities and new products in the growing ‘wellness’ and spa sectors.
“Travel buyers will leave Travel Turkey 2006 with new ideas and profitable services for creating unique travel itineraries for their customers,” said HMI’s Doris Petersen.
Travel Turkey is a partner in the Turkish government’s efforts to promote the country as an international travel destination. Visitor numbers have increased steadily over the past decade, from 7.8 million holidaymakers a year in 1995 to more than 17 million in 2005. The country is aiming for 30 million tourists a year by 2010.
Petersen attributes recent growth to Turkey’s affordability as a destination, and the variety of what the country has to offer the leisure traveller or holidaymaker.