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Turkey has "vital role" to play in industry, says ICCA

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk makes positive comments during solidarity visit to Istanbul

Pictured: the ICCA party on the visit to Istanbul

ICCA has made a solidarity visit to Istanbul, with CEO Martin Sirk saying that Turkey has a “vital role” to play in the events industry.

Sirk, along with ICCA European regional director David Bodor and board member Marta Gomes, showed their support for ICCA’s global community during the ACE of MICE tradeshow at the Istanbul Congress Center (ICC).

Sirk said: “Over the last 20 years, Istanbul established itself as a premier league player in the international association meetings market, and the rest of Turkey developed a strong country-wide infrastructure and professional capacity on the back of that pioneering work, with Turkish Airlines adding to the mix with its ambitious, global network.

“Turkey and Istanbul have acted as an invaluable bridge between East and West, Europe and the Middle East, between cultures and peoples. The challenges currently facing Turkey can blind us to this vital role that the country can play in our global industry, and we hope to identify some practical solutions and ideas that will help our members re-establish long-term growth and development in Turkey’s meetings industry."

Hicran Ozbuk, general manager of Istanbul Convention Bureau, said: “We are extremely pleased to have the full support of ICCA. We are confident that Istanbul will continue to be the top place for meetings and conferences.

“We will be hosting very important congresses with a large number of delegates in 2017. For upcoming years, 2018 and beyond, we are working more and more effectively with new leads and we are happy that we are receiving positive feedbacks for future congresses.”

In 2016 the city welcomed more than 11.9 million international visitors, making the city one of the top 10 most visited cities in the world. However in the same period the country also suffered a number of terror attacks, which has sharply affected local operators.

This year the city is set to host the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) with 5,000 delegates; the Apimondia International Apicultural Congress with 8,000 delegates; the World Conference of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), the WFNS World Congress of Neurosurgery and the World Congress of Aesthetic Medicine.

In 2016 the city hosted the 10,000 delegate World Energy Congress; the World Cereal and Bread Congress, the World Polymer Congress, the World Congress of the Universal Federation of Travel Agents' Association and the 3,000 delegate World Congress on Human Resources Management.

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