CEO Mr. Sirk stated that: Over the last 20 years Istanbul established itself as a “premier league” player in the international association meetings market, and the rest of Turkey developed a strong country-wide infrastructure and professional capacity on the back of that pioneering work, with Turkish Airlines adding to the mix with its ambitious, global network. Turkey and Istanbul have acted as an invaluable bridge between East and West, Europe and the Middle East, between cultures and peoples. The challenges currently facing Turkey can blind us to this vital role that the country can play in our global industry, and we hope to identify some practical solutions and ideas that will help our members re-establish long-term growth and development in Turkey’s meetings industry.
Regarding ICCA’s full support, Istanbul CVB’s General Manager Ms. Hicran Ozbuk added: ‘‘We are extremely pleased to have the full support of the ICCA. Istanbul has a breathtaking history, having been the capital of no less than three different empires, and has been a mercantile trade center for many centuries.
We are confident that Istanbul will continue to be the top place for meetings and conference. In 2016 the city hosted a number of well-attended congresses. In addition, the city welcomed over 11.9 million international visitors in 2016 (MasterCard Report), and this makes the city one of the top 10 most visited cities in the world. We strongly believe that Istanbul will continue being a strong meeting point for both business and leisure visitors. We are also focusing on the congresses that will be held in Istanbul this year. We will be hosting very important congresses with a large number of delegates in 2017. Just to name a few; the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) with 5.000 delegates, the Apimondia International Apicultural Congress with 8.000 delegates, World Conference of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), WFNS World Congress of Neurosurgery and World Congress of Aesthetic Medicine. For upcoming years, 2018 and beyond, we are working more and more effectively with new leads and we are happy that we are receiving positive feedbacks for future congresses.’’
In addition, Istanbul also hosted significant congresses in 2016: the World Energy Congress with 10.000 delegates, the World Cereal and Bread Congress, the World Polymer Congress, the World Congress of the Universal Federation of Travel Agents’ Association and World Congress on Human Resources Management with 3.000 delegates. The list goes on and on.