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The second edition of World Tourism Forum was held in Istanbul between 4th to 6th February. Considering that the summit is in its second year this was a highly successful event that attracted more than 7,000 participants and more than 100 speakers.

The event was held at Istanbul Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Center which is one of the largest in the city.

The dominant themes at the summit were related to recent border security incidents and the new market ‘Africa’.

This event was realized under the leadership of Bulut Bagci, the president of the World Tourism Forum. In 2012 he founded LinkLine Group, a company responsible for many organized events such as: International Sports Summit, Istanbul in March 2013; Travel Trends Summit in October 2012 and the latest one the World Tourism Forum.

The main idea of the World Tourism Forum is to serve as an annual meeting which will bring together world tourism leaders and tourism industry representatives and where new trends and policies will be discussed. The summit was established on the model of Davos Summit.

Undoubtedly this second summit will greatly contribute to Turkish tourism and will strengthen the Turkish brand even more. Besides the new trends and international crisis on the industry, Turkish economy was also at the top of the summit’s agenda.

Bulut Bagci stated that this event will promote the potential of the Turkish tourism industry and that they will continue with the efforts to increase Turkey’s tourism income.

The forum brought together opinion leaders, investors, political authorities and industry representatives. This event was held with the participation of Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who was the most famous guest of the event. The summit’s speakers were also: Mr. Mehmet Şimşek – Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey; Mahir Ünal – The Minister of Culture and Tourism; José Manuel Barroso – the former President of the European Commission; Başaran Ulusoy – the President of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies; Sani Şener – CEO of TAV Airports Holding; Mark Tanzer – the CEO of ABTA; Serge Trigano – the Co-founder and President of Mama Shelter; Rolf Schrömgens – Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Trivago; Mr. Hakan Ateş – CEO of Deniz Bank and others.

The President of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that not only Istanbul has become a center for international events at the global scale, but other places too. He also stressed the importance of Antalya as the city hosted G-20 summit in 2015 and will host EXPO in 2016. “Tourism has a very important role in world’s peace” – Erdogan said. The president also stated that even though Turkey continues to fight against the terrorism, the country will reach its 2023 target. That target is to be the fifth largest tourist destination, to host 50 million visitors per year and to obtain 50 billion USD of tourism revenue

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