More than 8,000 tour operators, travel agents and other travel industry professionals from around the world have signed up to attend the annual Travel Turkey inbound travel show and conference in Istanbul. This year’s event will take place between 25 and 27 May in the city’s Lütfi Kirdar International Congress and Exhibition Hall.
The annual event is designed to encourage the trade to sell more Turkish content. More than 180 exhibitors from the 12 most frequently visited Turkish regions, as well as representatives from neighbouring countries, mean this year’s event will be twice as large as previous years.
Travel Turkey 2006 will include an international tourism conference. Some 20 speakers will participate in five main sessions covering such subjects as ‘Destination Branding’, ‘conference and incentive travel to Turkey’, ‘long-term investment and financing’ and ‘tourism and the protection of Turkey’s cultural heritage.’
German event organiser Hannover-Messe International (HMI) is organising the show, in collaboration with the Turkish Union of Travel Agents (TURSAB).
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.
“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.