Turkey’s tourism chiefs will be congratulating themselves this week after the UK travel association ABTA announced that it will be holding its 2012 Travel Convention in the popular Turkish holiday resort of Belek in Antalya.
The choice gives Turkey the privilege of being the important trade convention’s host for the first time since 1996. It is also the first time that the event will take place at an all-inclusive resort, which could be seen as a vote of confidence in the much-praised tourist facilities of the country. The Turkish tourism authority will certainly see it that way!
British people have been opting for cheap holidays in Turkey in increasing numbers over the past decade, attracted by resorts such as Belek and the low prices of holiday essentials – plus its year-round warm climate and enticing Mediterranean beaches. At the same time, Turkish history and culture has attracted millions from across the world to its cities and sites of special interest, and the airlines have been keen to encourage both kinds of visitor with many cheap flights to Antalya, Bodrum, Istanbul and many other destinations.
Announcing the 2012 location at the close of this year’s Abta convention in Palma Mallorca, Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said that “Turkey has had a meteoric rise in the last few years as a tourist destination of choice for British holidaymakers.”
“The resort of Belek offers outstanding, five-star facilities that will provide first rate support for the Convention’s programme of business, social and sporting activities.”
The Turkish Culture and Tourism Office’s London director Tolga Tuyluoglu said: “We are very excited to be hosting such a prestigious event in Belek in Antalya, one of our premier resorts.”
“We last hosted the ABTA Travel Convention in Istanbul in 1996. Then we had just over 750,000 arrivals – now it is closer to three million. The UK is such an important market for us and this is a great opportunity for us to show the UK travel trade the new face of Turkish tourism.”