“If Terrorism is a Global Problem then Tourism is a Global Solution” – Ibrahim Halil Korkmaz, Chairman of HK Holding
February of this year, the World Tourism Forum was organized in Istanbul, Turkey. The event was held last February 4 to 6.
The World Tourism Forum is a meeting of private and government tourism leaders all over the world to discuss and address tourism trends. One of the key speakers, ibrahim Halil Korkmaz is the President of Investment Holding of Knowledge (IHK). He operates Tour Operation and Travel Agencies in Moscow and Antalya, and is adept in advertising and various sectors. According to him, the whole world must work together and act in unison against threats of terrorism. Just recently, the whole world was shocked with the terrorist attacks in New York, London, Madrid, Paris, and Istanbul.
Among the topics discussed during the forum were political influence on the tourism industry, international sports, aviation, health, and business travel. Korkmaz talked about the tourism and economic relations of Turkey and Russia. To begin, he said that the trade volume between Russia and Turkey has dropped, causing a difference of USD 3 million from the usual profit. The reasons behind these are economic, according to him. Unemployment rates in Russia has decreased while unhappiness have increased. To create a diversion, Russia has created artificial enemies as a perception management strategy. “For the last two years, not only the purchasing power of the Russian citizens decreased but also unemployment rate and the index of unhappiness have dramatically increased. Therefore, the Russian government is trying to distract the attention from the economic facts by creating artificial enemies,” he explained. This explains the tension between Russia and the countries Georgia, Ukraine, European Union and Turkey.
“It is an inevitable fact that we need to find new markets in order to cover the loss of the Russian tourists. Additionally, we need to focus on new markets. Besides the new markets, we should also review our current relations with the countries that we haven’t been using the potential efficiently and try to enhance sustainable relations. Even though Turkey is at the 6th rank in the arrivals of tourists, it is at the 12th rank when it comes to the tourism incomes. Therefore, it is inevitable that we should improve the brand value of our country,” Korkmaz said during the World Tourism Forum. He emphasized the uniqueness of every country’s market. For Turkey to be able to increase its brand value, tourism is the key and there should be a balance between import and export.