News Center -TDO- The ninth edition of the Bilkent Tourism forum, organized by Bilkent University Department of Tourism and Hotel Management, was held online on December 10 this year. Traditionally organized by the department, which is a member of the Institut Paul Bocuse World Union, the forum was held this year with live connections and international participation established with 20 different countries.

The main aim of Bilkent Tourism forum is to comprehensively address the developments taking place in the world and tourism sector under a current heading every year and to contribute to the development of our country's tourism by drawing attention to the threats and opportunities facing the sector. The theme of the forum this year was inevitably determined as the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected the entire world and whose effects are largely still ongoing.

Keynote speeches at the forum were made by Erkan Uçar, Deputy Director of Bilkent University School of Applied Technology and Business Administration, Prof. Abdullah Atalar, Rector of Bilkent University, Mustafa Erkayıran, Deputy Governor of Ankara and Özgul Özkan Yavuz, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In order to contribute as much as possible to the fight against this crisis in the tourism sector of our country, all the developments experienced in the pandemic process were noted and opportunities to adapt to changing market conditions in the tourism sector were investigated in the forum in which Kingdom of Thailand's Ambassador to Turkey Phantipha Iamsudha Ekarohit, Bekir Ödemiş, Head of the Department of Culture and Natural Heritage of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Onurair General Manager Teoman Tosun, Natalia Bayona, United Nations World Tourism Organization Director of Innovation, Education and Investments, Turkey Tourism Development and Promotion Agency Board Member Dr. Erkan Yağcı, Turkey Hoteliers Association Chairman Müberra Eresin, Master Chef Jury Member Somer Sivrioğlu, Ankara HiltonSA General Manager Marc O. Schumacher, Turkey Travel Agencies Association Mersin Regional Chairman Hakan Bayındır, Icons & Styales Founder Koray Şahmalı, Maxime Moise, International Program Development Coordinator of Institut Paul Bocuse President of the International Children's Center Association and member of the Child Friendly Tourism Advisory Board Prof. Tomris Türmen, Funda Eratıcı, Hilton International Regional Sales Director, Shangri-La Hotel Dubai General Manager attended as speaker.  In contrast to previous crises, it has been emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as a development affecting all markets and destinations around the world and bringing travel and tourism activities to a standstill. It was also stated that the fight against this crisis, which has a global nature, is also global and requires extensive international cooperation, and emphasis was placed on innovation, digital transformation, and sustainability.

At the forum, where speakers also drew attention to opportunities after the pandemic, it was also stated that young people studying Tourism use this process to improve themselves, and that new employment opportunities in the tourism sector that will gain movement after the pandemic are waiting for them.

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