|Istanbul Solidifies Its Ranking As A Top Ten International Congress Destination|
Thanks to expanded facilities and widespread recognition of Istanbul as one of the world’s trendiest and most exciting cities, the city has solidified its place in the Top Ten of the ICCA Rankings and will continue hosting ever more major congresses, such as the upcoming World Dental Federation (FDI), World Federation of Energy Regulators (WFER) and World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS).
Istanbul first broke into the, world’s Top 10 Congress Destinations in 2010, hosting 109 congresses according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). This year, according to ICCA’s most recent data, Istanbul has solidified its place in the Top Ten by hosting 113 congresses, a four congress increase over 2010, in 2011, making the city the 9th most popular congress destination worldwide.
Reinforcing its status as a venue of choice for the most prestigious international events, Istanbul has recently attracted multiple major congresses. Two of the congress Istanbul has hosted this year were 15th International Inner Wheel Convention IIW, with 3,500 delegates, and Association of Women's Rights in Development AWID, with 1,800 delegates. Istanbul will be hosting several more major congresses later this year, such as 28th Annual Meeting of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology ESHRE, with 7,000 delegates expected; 30th World Congress on Endourology and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy WCE, with 3,000 delegates expected; 4th Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Societies EAPS, with 2,500 delegates expected.
Among some of the future prestigious congress that Istanbul has recently won are World Dental Congress FDI, which will be held in 2013 with 15,000 delegates expected, World Federation of Energy Regulators WFER, which will be held in 2015 with 1,000 delegates expected and WFNS World Congress of Neurosurgery 2017, expected to have 10,000 delegates.
With seven purpose-built convention centers and three exhibition centers large enough to accommodate even the biggest international fairs, Istanbul can easily accommodate large international congresses such as WDF and WFNS. With over 72.000 total guestrooms and 85 five-star and deluxe hotels, Istanbul offers meeting planners a variety of options, including top international and domestic hotel brands, at a variety of price points.
Moreover, Istanbul offers three separate but integratable meeting and exhibition clusters in the Airport District, the Conference Valley and the Golden Horn, augmented by new centers being constructed on both continents, and existing centers being updated and expanded. Combined with unique incentives afforded by Istanbul’s historic venues, palaces, cisterns and more, Istanbul presents meeting planners with a variety of remarkable options to create a truly outstanding event.
Another factor in Istanbul’s success as a congress destination is easy accessibility from anywhere in the world. Turkish Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance, offers almost 200 direct destination flights between Istanbul and five continents, meaning that two billion people live within six hours’ flying time of Istanbul. With two airports, one on the Asian side of the city and the other on the European side, Istanbul is served by nearly 300 international airlines.
The Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau (ICVB) designed the strategy integrating tourism sector participation, destination branding and face-to-face marketing that helped Istanbul climb from 46th in the ICCA rankings just a decade ago, to its current position in the Top Ten. ICVB’s General Manager, Mrs. Elif Balcı Fisunoglu, says, “We are pleased with Istanbul’s 2011 performance, which increased by four congresses over 2010’s to a total of 113. Istanbul is on the short list of virtually every major event, and that naturally shows up in the results. Our mission is to continue communicating to meeting planners that Istanbul offers unrivalled flexibility and the confidence of knowing that all facilities are new and technologically up-to-date. Now that we have solidified Istanbul’s place in the Top Ten, we remain committed to achieving our objective of a Top Five ranking in the next 3 - 5 years.”