Kaan Kavaloğlu, President of the Mediterranean Hoteliers and Operators Association (AKTOB), provided information about the 13th International Resort Tourism Congress, which will start on November 25. Kavaloğlu emphasized that, following the global pandemic, Türkiye quickly recovered in the world tourism sector. He stated that the main theme of the congress is "Sustainability."

According to Fikri Cinokur from Turizm Days, Kavaloğlu mentioned that Türkiye was among the first countries to become a member of the World Sustainable Tourism Council. He reported that the first stage of certification for Sustainable Tourism has been completed for hotels in the country, and some hotels have progressed to the second and third stages.

"The congress will have a near-zero carbon footprint" Kavaloğlu explained that the congress, which will host 1500 domestic and foreign participants influencing the global tourism industry with the motto "The Future of Tourism, Tourism of the Future," will address health, gastronomy, sports, congress tourism, and digitalization in tourism. He stated, "We will conduct the 13th International Resort Congress with a near-zero carbon footprint. The congress in 2024 will be organized with a completely zero-tolerance carbon footprint."

"Successful 2023 target despite challenging conditions" Evaluating the tourism season, AKTOB President Kaan Kavaloğlu highlighted that despite the war between Russia and Ukraine, earthquakes affecting 11 provinces, and presidential elections, Türkiye's tourism in 2023 successfully overcame these challenges.

Kavaloğlu stated, "So far, 15 million tourists have visited Antalya. There is a 16% increase compared to 2022. Despite being a challenging year for Türkiye, tourism has achieved its target. The war between Russia and Ukraine, developments between Israel and Palestine in the Middle East, of course, negatively affected tourism. Despite the war, Russians ranked first among the tourists visiting Antalya. Developments between Israel and Palestine also affect tourism. We look to the future with hope. Reservations were going well last week before the London Tourism Fair. Reservations have slowed down. There can be no world tourism without Antalya and Türkiye."

"$100 billion in tourism revenue" Pointing out China's significant initiatives in tourism, Kavaloğlu continued, "Türkiye ranked fourth in the world in terms of hosting the most tourists after the pandemic. We aim to surpass our competitors in tourism, France and Spain. However, regional issues continue in the geography where our country is located. Türkiye aims for 100 million tourists and $100 billion in revenue in the coming period. I believe we will reach the target of $100 billion in tourism revenue by 2028. The new century of the Republic will be the rise of Türkiye."

"Exporting tourism personnel" Kavaloğlu mentioned that Türkiye's tourism lost its workforce to other sectors after the pandemic. He said, "All sectors came to a halt during the pandemic. Tourism took the hardest hit. We lost our staff. With internal and external migration, housing rents increased. Therefore, there were difficulties in employment in tourism. Tourism employees faced high rents. Tourism employees and top executives started going abroad. We started exporting tourism personnel. North African countries, especially those aspiring to develop tourism, are demanding tourism personnel from our country. We need to solve the housing problem for tourism employees in our country. For this, hotel establishments are increasing the number of lodgings. There are initiatives for land allocation from the state for lodging construction. The employment is the strength that makes a difference in the international competition of Turkish tourism."

Editor: Mehmet Güneli