Key tourism fair opens in Istanbul, eyeing 50,000 visitors
The East Mediterranean International Tourism & Travel Exhibition (EMITT), which is among the five biggest tourism exhibitions in the world, opened on Jan. 25 to attract more than 50,000 visitors.
The fair is organized by ITE Turkey and will take place until Jan. 28 at the TÜYAP Fair Convention & Congress Center in Istanbul.
Speaking to reporters at the fair, Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş vowed that 2018 would be a much better year for the country’s tourism, which was hit in 2016 by a series of terror attacks and a failed coup attempt.
Kurtulmuş added that Turkey’s military operation in Syria’s Afrin would not negatively affect the tourism sector.
“This operation will not have any negative impact on Turkey’s tourism. The sector will see significant momentum in 2018,” he vowed.
The fair takes place this year under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Turkish Airlines, as well as with the support of the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) and in cooperation with the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) and the Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TYD).
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin said Istanbul is safe city and will see a considerable rise in the number of foreign arrivals.
“As was the case before, Istanbul is a safe city with highly accessible touristic attractions. 2017 was a good year as the number of tourists visiting our city saw an 18 percent year-on-year increase. This figure will further increase in 2018, we believe,” Şahin said.
According to EMITT representatives, 600 of 2,600 tour operators that applied to attend the fair this year were invited.
A total of 1,065 participants from 85 countries will be hosted this year in 10 halls covering a 60,000-square meter area.