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Thursday, 20 December, 2018, 10 : 14 AM [IST]

Turkey, the new global hotspot for MICE

The country has a plethora of options both for destination wedding and MICE segments; it is high time for Indians to explore the country.

Turkey is quite aware of the fact that the Indian market offers them huge scope for business and keeping this in mind, the Turkish Tourism Board in India has taken slew of measures to attract more Indian travellers. One of their target segments in India is wedding. Istanbul is an ideal place to organise a destination wedding for various reasons. Rich in traditions, and the unofficial wellness capital, one can organise a henna party at one of the Hamams in Instanbul, the crowded bustling capital. Near the Bazar, the hotels offer more local colour, literally, since very little is covered on the guests or attendants. On the Bosphorus, one can experience the luxurious setting, as well as all of the advantages of a venue right on the river during wedding celebrations.

There are many choices that Turkey can offer with regards to destination weddings. For example, if somebody is looking for seaside location, Antalya is an ideal setting for that. Divine bays of blue water caressing creamy sand beaches with towns perched on the cliff tops to cater to cater to a person on his/her big day. Cappodocia is another location fits for destination wedding. It offers an option for wedding on a hot-air balloon as well. A hot air balloon wedding, for instance is not something that every couple can tell about to their grandchildren. Situated in the heartland of Anatolia-Asian Turkey, this town is best known for its moon shaped landscape, fairy chimneys, underground cities etc. Similarly, The Oludeniz area brings together so many attractions, beautiful beaches, the best trekking, even the best paragliding sites in the world. The sea here is calm even during storms, which seems like an auspicious detail for a wedding. Beauty, relaxation, history, and affordability work together to make Turkey one of the most highly prized wedding destinations in today’s context. “The Turkish Tourism board in India is hosting regular meetings & sessions with wedding designers & wedding planners, florists, entertainment managers, culinary artists, hoteliers that play a key role in destination wedding, introducing them to the plethora of options that Turkey offers for destination weddings,” says Deniz Ersöz, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India.

As far as MICE is concerned, Turkey has already emerged as a preferred MICE destination worldwide. Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Bodrum and Gulet are the top MICE destinations in Turkey. Not only that Mice travel in Turkey is increasing at an incredibly fast pace, with the country being ranked among the world’s top 10 meeting and congress destinations. According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Turkey ranks 18th as a growing destination for Mice tourism globally. And the city of Istanbul ranks eighth on the global list because it is a bridge between East and West, both in terms of trade and culture. Turkey is therefore exceptionally well positioned as a destination for the Mice industry.

In addition to its geographic advantage as a natural bridge between Europe and the Middle East, bordered by the Black Sea and Marmara Sea, Turkey, and specifically Istanbul, has seen billions of dollars invested in core infrastructure projects to boost its tourism sector and enhance its position as a viable business and family destination. Turkey has been able to attract an increasing number of businesses and people from the European, Middle East and African regions, looking for opportunity and development.

Antalya has also taken up a leadership position in the Mice industry. The city has seen its tourism trade grow in 2017 and surpass 2016 figures. Similarly, Cappadocia, Bodrum and Gulet have also emerged as top destination.

Commenting on MICE travellers from India, Ersöz says, “Turkey has always been a popular destination amongst Indian travellers. In last few years, the country has emerged as a key destination for Indian weddings and MICE summits. The Turkish Tourism board is now actively promoting Turkey as MICE and as a wedding destination.”

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