Ali Sinan Inan, Director, Antalya convention Bureau speaks exclusively with Travel And Tour World at the 6th edition of ACE of M.I.C.E 2019, at the Istanbul Congress Centre.
Travel And Tour World – How has the exhibition been so far?
Ali Sinan Inan: It’s quite good for Antalya at the moment. We had a huge stand of 300 sqm, also we had most of the hotels with us under the Antalya Convention Bureau name.
Travel And Tour World: What has made Turkey the main centre for global congress tourism?
Ali Sinan Inan: First, we have good accessibility, good connections to the world. We are very close to most of the meeting incentive countries especially Europe and Russia; and those in Middle East within 4 hours night time. We have quite good advantage of accessibility. Second, we have various cities and various offers for the incentive package for MICE market. For example, Antalya is offering quite different package within its all inclusive concept – which means lunch, breakfast, dinner, snacks, and beverages. There are big hotels starting from 500 rooms having their own convention centres. It’s a great opportunity for meetings and incentives. Also if they choose Antalya, they have an advantage of – if they accommodate in your hotel they do not pay any extra penny for their meeting.
Travel And Tour World: Do you have any plans of expansion into alternative spaces?
Ali Sinan Inan: We are going to have new congress centre in Belek area. It is going to open in the end of October 2019. We are going to have biggest convention zone – there it is going to be 10,000 people. So at that area, we have approximately, by walking distance, 30,000 beds. It is a new advantage for international congresses. We could not give congress centres till now, so it is going to be new challenge for us.
Travel And Tour World – How do you measure the success of any event?
Ali Sinan Inan: Well, to tell the truth, we are not measuring till now. We are trying to do research about ROI, but this is for sure that congress clients are spending more than the leisure ones.
Travel And Tour World – How much is MICE tourism in Antalya contributing to Turkey’s economy?
Ali Sinan Inan: Antalya is the capital of tourism. We are hosting 40 million guests per year. Congress tourism is only 5 per cent of it. Leisure numbers are quite high. But this does not mean we are hosting less clients because we are the capital of congresses as well especially nations congresses. 75% of nation congresses are being held in Antalya.
Travel And Tour World – What are you looking forward to, from ACE of M.I.C.E?
Ali Sinan Inan: ACE of M.I.C.E is the only MICE player in Turkey. We ask the members to join in. In the coming years, it is going to be much more popular. The hosted buyers are going to be better. We are going to be here as long as it lasts.
Travel And Tour World – There is a huge surge in wedding tourism in Turkey and Antalya. So how is your city poised to attract more couples?
Ali Sinan Inan: Well, Antalya is a good destination for weddings as well; it is getting very popular in the Indian market too. Last week we had one in Regnum Carya hotel. Hotels are quite big, facilities are quite good. Weather conditions are quite good in our hotelier. We say that there are 300 days of sunshine. Service qualities of the hotels are quite high. So that’s why, people who are going to be married, would like to be in Antalya because of the possibilities they can choose easily.