Istanbul among top 10 congress destinations

Istanbul among top 10 congress destinations

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Istanbul among top 10 congress destinations

The picture shows an auditorium at the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Center. Istanbul hosted 113 conventions last year. Hürriyet photo

Istanbul retained its place on the list of the top 10 convention destinations centers in the world last year, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) said yesterday.

Istanbul was in seventh place in 2010 with 109 conventions, but fell to ninth place in 2011, although the number of conferences held in the city rose to 113, according to data from the International Congress and Convention Association.

In the early 2000s, Istanbul was in 40th place, with only 20 conventions per year, and has made a great leap forward as a global competitor in the convention-destination market in the past decade.

Turkey’s overall achievements in terms of its economy and in other fields has helped it attain this success, as has the Istanbul Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (ICVB) integrated work with the sector, said Murat Yalçıntaş, head of the İTO and chairman of the ICVB.

“Now cities around world compete with each other [as well as countries]. That is why it is important that Istanbul retained its place in the top 10,” Yalçıntaş said.

The ICVB was founded in 1997 as part of the Tourism Development and Education Foundation. The president of the board of trustees of the foundation is Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay.

Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, which is also a major international tourism destination, hosted 23 conventions last year, putting it in 92nd place, while the capital city of Ankara, listed 273rd, bring in only seven conventions in 2011.

Among countries, Turkey was in 23rd place with 159 conventions last year.