Turkey to Host ASTA Expo

On nearly all surveys of travelers, two themes continue to emerge when respondents are asked what they are looking for in an international vacation: value and unique experiences.

By: By Kenneth Shapiro

The Details

ASTA
www.asta.org/expo

Turkey Tourism
www.goturkey.com

Educational Sessions: Below are some of the offerings. For a complete list visit ASTA’s Web site.

“Turkey, the Cradle of Civilization: A Walk Through 10,000 Years of History.”
Presented by Claudette Covey, courtesy of the Turkish Ministry of Tourism

“A Turkish Culinary Adventure: History, Ingredients, & Tastes of Turkey’s Exotic Cuisine.”
Presented by Engin Akin, courtesy of Tour de Forks.

“In the Footsteps of Paul and the Seven Churches of Revelation.”
Presented by Ronen Paldi, courtesy of Ya’lla Tours USA.

“Turkey and Beyond: Customized Groups and FITs.”
Presented by Koray Edemen, courtesy of Key Tours.

“Turkey, the Unknown Corner of Europe.”
Presented by Ronen Paldi, courtesy of Ya’lla Tours USA.

“Understanding and Selling Turkey, A Fascinating Growth Destination.”
Presented by Engin Kadaster, courtesy of Turkey at Its Best.

“Turkey for Your Best Clients: Creating the Perfect Custom Itinerary.”
Presented by Mary Bai, courtesy of CTC Turkey.

“Discover How to Build a Thriving Faith-Based Travel Program Centered on the World’s Top Religious Sites in the Middle East and Holy Land.”
Moderator: Kevin J. Wright, president, World Religious Travel Association. Panelists include representatives from Middle Eastern destinations.

 

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Agents attending the next IDE will be able to visit sights such as Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace
// © Turkey Ministry of Culture & Tourism

On nearly all surveys of travelers, two themes continue to emerge when respondents are asked what they are looking for in an international vacation: value and unique experiences. Fortunately, the location for the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) next International Destination Expo (IDE) features both. Istanbul, Turkey, will host the 2010 IDE from April 19-22.

As one of the most affordable — and exotic — countries in Europe, it is little wonder that Turkey is also one of the few destinations to have reported an increase in visitor numbers in recent years. This fact was not lost on ASTA’s officials when they chose Istanbul as the host city.

“Next year, we are fortunate enough to be able to experience Turkey, one of the few European destinations to see an increase in U.S. visitors this year,” said Chris Russo, ASTA’s president. “Americans are clearly interested in learning more about Turkey’s diverse culture. It’s the smart travel agent who will take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to educate themselves on this culturally rich destination.”

In years past, the emphasis for the IDE has been on destination education and training, and this year is no exception. With seminars on everything from Turkish culinary history to Turkey as a center for faith-based travel, agents will learn all they need to know in order to better sell this destination.

Agents in attendance will also be able to qualify as official Turkey destination specialists as part of a newly launched specialist program developed in partnership with ASTA and Turkey Tourism. The program will include information on the country’s culture and geography, key attractions, sample itineraries and selling strategies.

In addition to the educational opportunities at the IDE, there will be pre- and post-expo familiarization tours that will take agents to different parts of the country. These tours are in addition to half-day Istanbul tours arranged around a variety of themes, such as cuisine and shopping. Some of the pre- and post-tours include: Turkey’s ruins at Ephesus and Pergamon; the resort area of Bodrum; a tour of the cave region of Cappadocia; and shorter trips to Bursa for the Silk Bazaar and Ankara, the nation’s capital, among others.

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