Event tourism now returning to Turkey

Event tourism in Turkey

The event industry in Turkey is seen as a major part of global tourism and is now seeing a bounce back from the havoc caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. This long-awaited return is set to speed up both the accommodation and tourism sectors.

The issues caused by Coronavirus

Since March 2020, Coronavirus caused mass cancellations and postponement of events, fairs, and meetings due to lockdown measures and worldwide travel restraints. Now that vaccinations have been rolled out, companies have finally been able to schedule meetings, although events of an international level have yet to resume.

Where are the Bookings?

The southern resort province of Antalya is well known for its tourism and hotels, and as such booking are coming in thick and fast from various organisations and companies. There has also been a surge in numbers as the tourism season has finally been able to get underway again. However, representatives from the sector have predicted that events will assist the occupancy of the hotels in Antalya by a minimum of 10% in the coming months.

Events in Turkey

The Istanbul Furniture Fair (IMOB) took place August 3 – 8 and the International Defence Industries Fair (IDEF 2021) have certainly helped boost revenue of hotels in Turkey. There are numerous events to come including the International Textile and Ready-Made Machines Fair, the MATEF Eurasia Fair, Sub-Industry and Accessory Fair, the Istanbul Oil Fair, and the World Cargo Symposium and Istanbul Hardware Fair in October.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak there were 70,000 – 80,000 events held yearly in Turkey. One of the sector experts said that there have been many requests to host events this September and October and concluded that: “We predict that we will do 7,000 – 8,000 events, reaching some 10% of 2019.”

However, it is the uncertainty that fresh lockdowns could be put into place at anytime that is so concerning. The expert went onto explain that: “This, in turn, has a very negative impact on our planning. For this reason, we expect an announcement from the top officials that there will be no closure in the next period. In this way, unease and uncertainty would be eliminated.”

Hotel Licence

The general manager of Istanbul Curio Collection by Hilton remarked that now events were starting again, a lifeline has been given to hotels with nearby hotels filling up during the event. The events have added 10% to the overall hotel occupancy rates with local and foreigners attending their stay for two to three days during this time. The general manager said: “People have missed Istanbul. After the fair, they go shopping. Foreigners spend on average 1,500 USD – 2,000 USD when they arrive at the fair.”


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