Key UFTAA global tourism office opens in Istanbul, raising hopes for Turkish tourism
The United Federation of Travel Agents’ Association (UFTAA) officially opened a global tourism office at the Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) headquarters in Istanbul on Dec. 9.
The inauguration ceremony enjoyed the participation of Culture Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, UFTAA President Sunil Kumar and other TÜRSAB executive board officials.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, TÜRSAB board secretary general and UFTAA board member Çetin Gürcün said the opening of the tourism office represented the culmination of Turkish efforts to actively contribute to both Turkish and global tourism.
“We pushed for the UFTAA to open a global office in Turkey, aiming to contribute to both Turkey and global tourism. After substantial efforts, we convened UFTAA’s 50th golden jubilee congress in Istanbul even though our country was going through hard times in 2016. We said the UFTAA should open a global tourism office and pointed to its achievements in Turkey,” Gürcün said.
UFTAA has determined the tourism sector at the global level for the past 50 years and has members from 65 countries.
The association’s president Kumar called the opening “an historic day.”
“Today is an historic day. This global tourism office in Istanbul represents one of the most important steps the association has ever made. The UFTAA global tourism office is set to become a [global] meeting point,” Kumar said.
TÜRSAB head Başaran Ulusoy said the UFTAA meeting “set an example for world peace,” stressing the culture ministry’s efforts in the process.
The culture minister himself said he hoped the tourism office would contribute to “world peace.”
“The fact that the UFTAA is opening an office here is very important and valuable for us. We are aware of how important tourism is for the economy. The move will boost the country’s tourism over the next 10 years,” Kurtulmuş said.