The 14th edition of EMITT opened its doors on 11 February to a huge crowd, eager to discover new experiences and attractions in countries around the world, as well as a wide variety of regions within Turkey itself. The event attracted an attendance of 106,850 (up 10% compared to the previous year), including 48,000 trade visitors and 58,850 members of the public.
The importance of tourism in Turkey was confirmed by the presence of Mr. Ertugrul Gunay, Minister for Culture and Tourism of Turkey. He was joined by fellow tourism ministers from Egypt, Yemen and North Cyprus, as well as a host of Ambassadors and Consuls. Turkey’s tourism industry also came out in force, with more than 60 Governors and Mayors from Turkey’s municipalities.
Mr. Zoheir Garana, Tourism Minister of Egypt, EMITT’s guest country, said that tourism has become an important source of income “but some countries do not attach adequate importance to this sector. Turkey is one of the rare countries, which is aware of the increasing importance of tourism.”
One reason for the increased interest from visitors was the presence of 500 more companies this year bringing the total exhibitor number to 3,500. New destinations included Algeria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Japan, Tanzania and Tatarstan. In addition, there were many regular participants, including companies from 60 countries and more than 100 cities and resorts in Turkey. This year, there was also a marked increase in exhibitors from the education, culture, eco, health, sports, business, schools and restaurant tourism sectors, reflecting current trends in tourism.
According to independent research, over 90% of participants were satisfied with the event; exhibitors were pleased with the level of visitor interest shown in their services, whilst visitors were impressed by the variety of companies at the exhibition and the promotional activities that had been arranged to attract their attention, such as prize draws, traditional food tasting, music and dancing, elaborate local costumes and craft demonstrations.
During the event, Mr. Ahmet Barut, Chairman of the Turkish Hotels Federation (Turofed) commented, “Turkey is one of the top ten growing countries in the global tourism industry. The increase in EMITT’s participant number is proof of that. Turkey’s potential for outbound tourism is also increasing. Beyond offering promotional opportunities, EMITT also generates an exchange of tourism.”
EMITT 2011 will take place on 15-18 February 2011 in TUYAP Fair, Convention and Congress Centre in Istanbul, Turkey.