House­ful show at Tur­key EduCon

Out­bound Tour Op­er­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (OTOAI) con­ducted its EduCon in Tur­key from May 3-7 to fa­mil­iarise its mem­bers with newer re­gions in Tur­key. The as­so­ci­a­tion plans to con­duct three more EduCons abroad this year.

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As many as 45 travel agents par­tic­i­pated in the fa­mil­iari­sa­tion trip con­ducted by OTOAI in as­so­ci­a­tion with Turk­ish In­dian Tourism Coun­cil (TITC) and Min­istry of Cul­ture and Tourism, Repub­lic of Tur­key. Ac­cord­ing to Guldeep Singh Sahni, Pres­i­dent, OTOAI, a need was felt to ex­plore newer des­ti­na­tions to meet the ris­ing de­mand among In­dian trav­ellers. “The pur­pose of this EduCon was to ex­pe­ri­ence a new re­gion in Tur­key apart from the usu­ally trav­elled ar­eas and get first-hand in­for­ma­tion so that travel agents can go back and pro­mote these in their itin­er­ar­ies. The qual­ity stan­dard of ser­vices and value for money is the USP of the Mu la re­gion. In terms of safety, we can guar­an­tee our guests that it is safe, full of fun and en­joy­ment,” he said. The ed­u­ca­tional trip cov­ered the south-western re­gion of Tur­key on the Aegean Sea-Mu la prov­ince along with des­ti­na­tions like Dalyan, Köyce iz, Mar­maris, Akyaka, Içmeler, Fethiye, Kayaköy, Ölü­d­eniz and Göcek.

Sahni fur­ther in­formed that OTOAI plans to con­duct three more EduCons this year with the next one slated for July and the rest to fol­low sub­se­quently. He said that the Mu la re­gion can be pro­moted for seg­ments like FIT, leisure, wed­dings, lux­ury, ad­ven­ture, hon­ey­moon­ers and film tourism. Meet­ings and In­cen­tives can also be boosted in this re­gion from In­dia. “We are plan­ning to con­duct a joint road­show with the tourism depart­ment of Tur­key to fea­ture var­i­ous re­gions of the coun­try. Their low sea­son upto June end and our high sea­son of travel from AprilJuly are a per­fect match. I'd want the tour op­er­a­tors to come out with var­i­ous itin­er­ar­ies for this re­gion and ex­per­i­ment with cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. I also re­quest Tur­key to pro­pose ad­ver­tise­ment projects in In­dia.”

Azar A. H. Khan, Con­sulate Gen­eral of In­dia to Is­tan­bul, com­mented that this EduCon is the first step to­wards pro­mot­ing Tur­key in In­dia. “In 2016, tourism from In­dia to Tur­key had slowed down due to var­i­ous in­ci­dents, but I be­lieve this trip will be in­stru­men­tal in restart­ing In­dian tourist traf­fic to Tur­key. We are also pro­mot­ing tourism from Tur­key to In­dia. We is­sue al­most 60 visas ev­ery­day to In­dia and hope that this two-way traf­fic grows.”

Gülara Alka­çır, Cul­ture and Tourism Ex­pert, Min­istry of Cul­ture and Tourism, Repub­lic of Tur­key, in­formed that in 2016 ap­prox­i­mately 20 DMCs from Tur­key par­tic­i­pated in OTM, SATTE and IITT in In­dia to show­case var­i­ous prod­ucts. “In­dia is an emerg­ing mar­ket and we have set aside a con­sid­er­able bud­get for mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. We want to pro­mote un­ex­plored re­gions in Tur­key. This year we hope to re­ceive a mil­lion In­dian tourists and this EduCon is the first step in that di­rec­tion.”

Guldeep Singh Sahni DDP Trail­blazer 2016 & Pres­i­dent, OTOAI

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