Organized by the General Directorate of International Organizations and Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, "The Sports Tourism Workshop of Turkey" was held at Cornelia Diamond Hotel Convention Center which is located at the Belek Tourism Center.
Attending the closing of The Sports Tourism Workshop of Turkey which was held in a hotel at the Belek Tourism Center in the Serik district of Antalya, Kasapoğlu pointed out that sports tourism is an activity area with extremely strategic importance for the country.
Stating that sports tourism offers significant opportunities in terms of both regional and global goals, Kasapoğlu informed that they want to elevate their goals to higher levels in line with a new, meaningful and holistic plan to turn such opportunities into capabilities.
Emphasizing that they are aware of the favorable position and rich potential of Turkey, Kasapoğlu said that Turkey had very high-quality facilities not only in terms of quantity but also quality, and it was one of the countries which has the best sports facilities that are the most effective in terms of technology and infrastructure in the world.
Minister Kasapoğlu said that they were proud to have excellently organized many events in a lot of branches ranging from important sports events to training camps and pre-season tournaments, while offering the famous hospitality of Turkey as a result of the sports facilities revolution they implemented.
"There are no obstacles for us to become a brand as a country in sports tourism"
Explaining that Turkey's climate characteristics extremely convenient for all sports, which they consider to be a great advantage, Kasapoğlu said:
“Turkey is a country with a great potential for sports tourism due its geographical qualities and climate characteristics. It’s one of the rare countries where all four seasons are experienced at the same time, with conditions that are extremely suitable for both summer and winter sports. In addition, Turkey’s proximity to the European countries and quality accommodation facilities mean that there are no obstacles for Turkey to become a brand country in sports tourism."
"Turkey is a natural candidate for organizations"
Pointing out that the sports investments provide advantages for hosting important international organizations, Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu said that they were proud to have organized dozens of high-profile events such as the UEFA Super Cup, European Women's Volleyball Championship, World Rally Championship and World Motocross Championship.
Mentioning that they successfully carried out events that were watched live by millions of people from hundreds of countries, Kasapoğlu continued as follows:
"With its experience, Turkey proved that it has the capacity to successfully handle the highest level of events such as the European and world football championships, and Olympics. I would also like to stress that our country is a natural candidate for hosting events in almost any branch. Turkey's sports tourism capabilities need to be promoted more effectively to the world with sound campaigns. Turkey is a country that aspires to be a leader not only in a few areas, but in any area. We have to work harder with this commitment and dedication.”
Mentioning that they realized that there was a lack of coordination between institutions which govern sports and tourism, considering the decisions taken at the workshop, Kasapoğlu said that they are aware of the critical importance of sharing knowledge, effective cooperation and coordination.
A New Roadmap
Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Hamza Yerlikaya pointed out that sport is a unifying element that does not discriminate between religion, language, race and nation.
Yerlikaya stated that the Ministry would identify a roadmap and said:
"We will contribute to the dissemination and development of sports tourism not only in Antalya and in football and golf, but also in all our seven regions and in other branches. In terms of facilities, we have completed the majority of our basic infrastructures in 17 years under the leadership of our President and we continue to rapidly build our facilities as of now.
“Sports Tourism is a Huge Industry”
The General Director of International Organizations and Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ahmet Temurci pointed out that sports tourism is growing rapidly.
Temurci made the following assessment: "Sports tourism is a huge industry. It’s also the fastest growing and leading industry In Turkey, contributing to the country’s economy and development."
Pointing out that the total size of the sports industry has reached $600 billion, taking into account elements such as ticket sales, media rights and sponsorship revenues, sporting goods, sportswear and equipment, licensed products and sports facilities, Temurci informed that sports tourism accounts for 10 percent of the global international travel and tourism revenues according to a report published by the United nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Emphasizing that Turkey is one of the rare countries that is suitable for both summer and winter sports as it’s a country where all four seasons are experienced, Temurci stated that Antalya is one of the leading destinations for football and golf tourism. Informing that football and golf account for approximately 90 percent of the total sports tourism market in Turkey, Temurci made the following statement: “Our goal is to improve this success story by disseminating successful events such as football camps and tournaments in Antalya, Alanya and Afyonkarahisar to all our seven regions, appropriate facilities and other branches."
Temurci said, "There is a very high level of participation in the Sports Tourism Workshop of Turkey. There is great excitement and energy here. We will benefit from the valuable opinions of our participants while creating our roadmap" and then thanked the participants for their contribution to the workshop.