By Meryem Özcilem ……
The North Cyprus Ministry of Tourism, which is supported by the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Health under the umbrella of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, met with members of the press at the HESTOUREX Fair, which was attended by a delegation of 2,000 people from 150 countries, and promoted North Cyprus Tourism in Antalya.
The Fair was the first attended in this category which helped us to promote our facilities in health and sports. During the fair, North Cyprus gave folk dancing and diving performances. Also traditional Cypriot food and beverages were provided to all visitors. North Cyprus was very well promoted in coordination with the Tourism Promotion and Marketing Department; with a wide participation with federations, unions, Health Tourism Council and universities which represented facilities and activities accordingly. There were Association of Tourism and Guides, Association of Hoteliers, Association of Restaurateurs, Representatives of Universities, Tandem Paragliding, Diving, Mountain Climbing, Fitness and Wellness sports, Football Federation, Golf, and Folk Dance Teams etc.
The Minister, Fikri Ataoğlu, also attended and encouraged the team during the Fair. He also had conversations with the public and bureaucrats. He stated that “Every time we attend Fairs, the TRNC stand always receives great interest and is now entering in the ratings. These fairs are significant fairs of world tourism. For example in EMITT Istanbul we were the first rating of all stands. We were the 9th among 187 exhibitors at the ITB Berlin Fair. In the UK, it was again the 1st, but the Greek lobbyists interfered and the stand ratings for the first time were not disclosed”.
Ataoglu pointed out that the TRNC has made great progress especially in the field of health tourism and reminded that the TRNC is the 54th member country of the World Health Tourism Council. Tourism in the health and sports area is progressing rapidly and universities have an important potential in this regard. He also said “we work extremely hard to promote tourism in our country” and added, “But we want a larger slice of the cake, and we are taking the necessary steps to achieve this” Referring to Health Tourism, as well as the developments in Sports Tourism, Minister Ataoglu emphasized that this sector has a very wide potential.
“Many people come to Cyprus from Turkey, either as a soldier or a student. Our student number is close to 100,000. The TRNC is extremely peaceful and tranquil and has a favourable appeal, it also has health sciences and hospitals. Our construction sector has gained momentum in the same way. In other words, we are expecting many Turkish citizens to come to Cyprus where our beautiful island has grown in an economic sense as well”.
TRNC Tourism and Environment Minister Fikri Ataoglu said, “Our country’s geographical location has started to become a tourism destination, which brings individual needs and desires to the forefront in parallel with the changes in tourism. In this direction, we are trying to introduce every opportunity, especially our university hospitals, our comfortable hospitals, our IVF Centres, our latest medical devices, massage at our hotels, SPA facilities and the possibilities we have in tourism for the aged disabled”.
At the Fair, the Minister explained our facilities in great detail and the team worked in unity to promote North Cyprus. It was a good venture for North Cyprus to promote this small island for well-being growth and development.