Turkey and Greece have been building closer relations with each other and Greece will attend a large regional tourism fair in Istanbul in 2014, for the first time, with all Greek regions under one roof, said the director of the exhibition, the East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT) Hurriyetdailynews reported .
"Greece has never attended our exhibition as a national guest as any official agreement was signed between the tourism ministries of Greece and Turkey, although regional representatives have always attended from Greece. All of these regional representatives will gather under one roof in a huge area for the first time this year. This is very good for us," said the director of EMITT, Hacer Aydin.
Greek tourism professionals will offer extensive promotional activities at the fair, she added.
Syria will not attend the exhibition
Syria, the main guest country of EMITT 2009, will not attend the fair this year, due to its domestic problems, Aydin said.
"Egypt, however, keeps attending the exhibition, despite its domestic problems. Egyptian tourism representatives have been intensifying their promotional activities, year by year," she noted.
The number of participating countries is increasing year by year.
The exhibition had attracted mainly Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries until a couple years ago.
"Now many other countries, from Latin America to Asia, are attending the fair," she noted. This is mainly caused by the rise in Turkish Airlines flights across the world, the increasing popularity of Turkish soap operas and the rising awareness in the world about Turkey as a spectacular tourism spot, she added.
12 month-long tourism destination
EMITT will be held in Istanbul from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, 2014, for the 18th time, with the participation of over 70 countries in around 5,000 stands. This year, the main concept will be winter tourism and health tourism.
"Turkey has a great potential to be a 12-month long tourism destination. We are trying to show its potential in our exhibition as much as we can with our partners," Aydin said.
EMITT is organized with the support of the Hoteliers Federation of Turkey, TUROFED, the Tourism Investors of Turkey, TYD, Turkish Airlines, Ministry of Tourism, and the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, among others.