Society of Travel was recognised as Turkey’s Leading Destination Management Company for the second time during the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2014 on Saturday.
Here Breaking Travel News catches up with founder Nirvana Asaduryan to find out a little more about the past, present and future of the company.
Breaking Travel News: Can you tell us a little about Society of Travel? What is it the organisation does for the Turkish tourism market?
Nirvana Asaduryan: Society of Travel is a destination management company and a tour operator based in Istanbul, Turkey.
The company was founded in 2007 by myself, serves international guests on a private basis from one end of Turkey to the other with the expertise and loyalty of 25 staff members.
These include first rate bilingual English speaking private guides and professional chauffeurs.
Society of Travel is specialised in putting together and preparing customised land and cruise programs that are tailored to suit any required travel budget, always aiming to exceed clients’ expectations.
We are an authorized ‘A’ grade travel agency of Turkey, officially licensed by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and is a fully approved member of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies.
Since the time it was found, Society of Travel has a long record of success and recognitions in international awards as well as for our achievements in line to our strict adherence to professional ethics and corporate discipline.
Our mission is to offer the best prices in the market, guarantee excellent value in all products and ensure the best personalised service and attention to detail.
We will also only work with quality reliable suppliers with proven track records and provide all clients with innovative products and the flexibility to cater to their individual needs.
BTN: Who do you tend to welcome to the destination? Is it mainly European guests, or do you see visitors arriving from further afield?
NA: Although the majority of our clientele is from United States of America and Mexico, we do welcome many guests from European Countries, as well as from Far East.
Turkey is a cradle of civilisations, with its unique geographic location between east and west, it is the only country embracing the two continents; Europe and Asia.
This makes it a magnificent tapestry of cultures and the religions; Islamic, Christian and Jewish heritages are woven together throughout the history.
Possessing in itself one of the most ancient areas of settlement in the world, Anatolia, Turkey has a lot to share with all of its visitors.
So you can simply consider Turkey as an open air museum.
And once you treasure its historical sites of many civilisations, mosques, synagogues, churches and museums, the taste will linger.
I can easily say that, the destinations in Turkey are as diverse as our travellers; not to mention the joys of the Turkish cuisine, the local people’s warm hospitality and the natural beauties of the blue paradise of Turkey along its spectacular turquoise coasts.
So no matter where they come from, can be USA, Mexico, Europe or Far East, those guests wishing to experience our tailor-made services enhanced with our personalised attention and special touches, they contact Society of Travel.
BTN: Where do guests want to travel in Turkey? Is it mainly focused on the established markets of Istanbul, and the beaches in the south? Are there any hidden gems you can share with our readers?
NA: It is totally related with the time that our guests will be able to afford in Turkey though.
Of course if they have two-three days only, and if it is their first time, they have not seen any place before, we deliver a private program to include Istanbul only together with its world-known highlights, main attractions plus some off the beaten-path enhancements.
If they have more days to spend in Turkey, according to their interest we combine Istanbul with either one or more destinations in Turkey, sometimes once they complete their sightseeing experience with our private guide, upon request, we leave them at the end of their trips, as day at leisure.
They can stay at a beach resort located either in the Aegean or the south coasts of Turkey, for them to enjoy the facilities of their deluxe property and get advantage of the sun and the crystal clear water for some relaxation and privacy.
So, this clearly explains that Istanbul, which has been the capital of three great Empires - Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman - and whose testimonies survive in each corner and within its streets, comes first as the main city to explore and discover.
The come other gems like remarkably preserved archaeological cities revived by the exceptional discoveries of the archaeologists such as; Ephesus, Priene, Aspendos, Aphrodias, and Troy.
Not to mention my Favourite destination in Turkey, Cappadocia, introducing one to unreal lunar landscape with its rock carved churches and underground cities; such an amazing place to visit!
Nirvana Asaduryan picks up the prestigious World Travel Awards trophy from founder Graham Cooke at the Europe Gala Ceremony 2014
BTN: How important is the Turkish government’s support for tourism? Is there anything national officials could do to improve the environment for tourism in Turkey?
NA: Turkey is currently the sixth most popular tourist destination in the world, attracting more than 30 million tourists each year, and the number continues to rise every year.
Of course the Turkish government’s support for tourism plays a very big role, their focus on the tourism sector is driven in part by the significant impact that tourism has on the economy.
In fact, tourism is so important that the government provides subsidies to local authorities to boost their tourism offerings.
Also the ministry of culture and tourism’s serious projects abroad with their promotions, and introductory films is equally important to promote our rich culture to the world and to wet their appetite to encourage to travel to Turkey.
BTN: Do you have any plans to expand Society of Travel in the coming months? What is the next stage of development for the brand?
NA: As Society of Travel our first and main goal is to stabilise the positive path in which we are moving.
Each and every achievement hides a challenge in itself, so we will work even harder to excel and continue in our path of success.
This automatically carries our brand, Society of Travel to the higher levels, on world platforms, always surrounded with the kind trust of our guests towards our services and the company.
We will continue to put a lot of hard work to maintain the highest standards of honesty and professionalism in all faces of our company’s activities, will continue to make difference on our guests’ experiences which will be always enhanced with our personal care and attention to detail.
We plan to expand our existing partner network over the years, by encouraging the new partners to work with us as well and use the personalized services of Society of Travel for their guests visiting Turkey, in addition to those of our esteemed tour operators we have been working together for many years.
Working with Society of Travel is truly a mutually rewarding cooperation and we would like to welcome new partners and tour operators to our world of custom-tailored luxury travel.
BTN: Society of Travel has been recognised as Turkey’s Leading Destination Management Company by the World Travel Awards. Can you tell us how it feels to win this prestigious title?
NA: It feels extremely exciting and amazing; I am really thrilled about it.
It is a wonderful recognition for our current and future business and will increase the confidence in our brand, Society of Travel.
We feel the importance and responsibility of this prestigious title on our shoulders and will continue to work even harder to excel in our services, that’s for sure.
In our today’s ultra competitive market, it is critical that the travel agencies acquire a point of differentiation.
Society of Travel is dedicated to providing not only travel but travel experiences to its guests in the most innovative ways for them to explore places already discovered and those not yet explored.
I believe moving in the right direction and ensuring the best personalised service and attention to detail, have been recognised here.
I am so happy and proud.
I think the secret to achieve such a prestigious title is totally related by putting yourself into your guests’ shoes, by trying to understand what their expectations are while visiting Turkey, and then all we have to do as the whole team at Society of Travel, is to try to make them feel at home in Turkey and warmly welcomed.
For more information on the Society of Travel take a look at the official website.