Istanbul aims to become a hub for MICE tourism

Published on : Friday, January 24, 2020

Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) are one of the most successful ways to increase Turkey’s tourism, which is once again enjoying a buoyant period after a challenging 2016.


As per the UNWTO data, the MICE tourism sector, which accounts for 30% of tourism revenues, is a significant source of tourism revenue in Turkey. The tourism sector, which has gained strong foothold in this regard, aims to make Istanbul a center for congresses again.


Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) Chairman Firuz Bağlıkaya said that the MICE tourism sector grows by 10% every year, according to International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) data, and added that they are working to highlight Turkey in congress tourism again.


Bağlıkaya said further, “Congress tourism produces more revenue than individual and package tours – which makes it a more advantageous type of tourism in this respect. According to 2018 data released by the ICCA, the average spending by convention attendee delegates per convention they attend is $2,258. In order to achieve our 2023 vision goals, we need to attract congress tourists back to our country and make Istanbul a congress center.”


Most tourists spend an average of $650, but a MICE tourist spends about four times more.


The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said that in 2018, the number of foreigners coming to Turkey for business purposes was almost 2 million.


The number of foreign visitors coming for business purposes in the first nine months of 2019 was same as 2018.


With congress tourism playing an important role in increasing tourism revenues and spreading the season throughout the country and the 12 months of the year, Bağlıkaya said: “Our facilities, located particularly in the coastal cities of Antalya, Muğla, İzmir and Aydın, can increase their occupancy rates and income by hosting MICE tourists in winter while welcoming tourists who come for sea, sun and sand in the summer months.”


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