The World Tourism Forum is a global organization which holds tourism events in different parts of the world to further boost global tourism.
The World Tourism Forum was held between the 16-18th of February in Istanbul, Turkey and I went along as a travel influencer in the social media space.
The idea was to meet up in Istanbul and mingle with other travel bloggers, video creators, photographers and social media gurus to help bridge the gap between us and the tourism industry.
The World Tourism Forum was established to fill a gap in the international tourism industry and to address all the challenges affecting the future of world tourism.
The young platform has been flourishing rapidly and already functions as a trendsetter in the industry.
As influencers we were asked to attend to see how we can add to the bigger discussion going on and this is a blog post that helps explain what we all got up to over the course of the weekend.
Flying with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, Turkey
The trip was already off to a great start as Turkish Airlines offer a wide global flight network to more countries than any other airline.
Personally for me this was great as I could fly direct from Helsinki, Finland to Istanbul, Turkey.
I enjoy flying with Turkish Airlines as you get a great economy service, including a hot meal and drinks throughout the flight as well as touch screen movie entertainment which is starting to become extremely rare on short haul flights these days.
After a smooth flight and a super fast airport to hotel transfer I was ready to kick off the weekend in Istanbul, Turkey.
Staying at the W Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
All attending influencers stayed at the W Hotel Istanbul. This was a first time for me staying at a W Hotel which offered a wonderful location in the Besiktas district of Istanbul, Turkey.
The W Hotel Istanbul comes across as a stylish boutique hotel with dimmed lights and stylish fixtures. It felt at times like we were staying within a fashion show as the lobby looked like a catwalk.
The W Hotel beds were super cosy and my room even had its very own garden courtyard. Each room comes along with a handy smartphone loaded with maps, local numbers and information on what to do around Istanbul.
It was super cool to stay around the area that the W Hotel was located in and explore all the fun back streets and get lost down the alleyways.
Exploring the Besiktas district of Istanbul, Turkey
Around the corner from the W Hotel you could explore some of the back streets of Besiktas district such as the fish market and Bazaar. It was great walking around and jumping into cafes along the way.
One of my highlights of visiting Istanbul is enjoying a Turkish grill. Fresh vegetable salads, freshly baked bread and an assortment of grilled meats at your disposal. What’s not to love about this incredible cuisine.
Any time of day in Istanbul is a good time to grab a Turkish tea. See tea runners floating around, pull up a seat and hail down a glass. Be sure to chuck in endless amounts of sugar cubes to sweeten the taste.
After a delightful grill and Turkish tea it was time to freshen up for the World Tourism Forum and I was in need of a haircut.
I love to get my haircut around the world as you never know what type of experience you will run into.
Sometimes it can be a gamble, but normally it ends up being a good laugh.
The guy I ended up bumping into had a whole wall covered in photos of all the guests he had cut hair for and insisted that he was the guy to cut my hair.
Luckily, you can’t go wrong with a number one all over haircut, it’s hard to mess up.
In this case it was all going well and a bit of a laugh until he put a massive lump of hot wax into my ears. He wanted to wax my ears! It was nice of him to tell me this was going to happen before he did it.
Ouch! What should have been a simple number one haircut ended up turning into a beauty session.
Lucky we all started laughing as I screamed in terror as the wax started to be pulled out.
Only in Turkey do you go for a simple haircut and end up with your ears almost being pulled out.
It’s eye opening to explore the Ottoman history that Istanbul and Turkey has to offer and you can see this present on every corner that you turn.
This is something about Istanbul that makes it both unique and enjoyable to explore.
Attending the World Tourism Forum
The World Tourism Forum was hosted for two days from 16-18th February and the prime minister of Turkey opened up the first keynote of the day.
Turkey aims to expand Istanbul airport to become the largest passenger airport in the world with a bigger capacity than Atlanta and this was mostly addressed within his talk.
Turkey would like to be the connecting gateway of the world and have big plans in place to make this accessible and open to all flying passengers.
Later on in the day you could attend sessions focused towards influencers and industry.
Murat Özbilgi from Blogger Casting discussed the importance of having a plan to be prepared for what the future can hold. Highlighting the importance of having a road map of your business journey to ensure you can grow with a focus and professionalism.
Katrina Howe from Two Monkeys Travel Group held a keynote to share her own journey and how they have managed with growth and how they’re able to manage to remain professional even whilst being on the road full time.
All the talks from the evening where useful and educational and it’s great to hear from fellow peers where the industry is going and how to better improve our own personal businesses as well as learning about how we can work with the industry to make it a better place.
Evening entertainment at the World Tourism Forum
The World Tourism Forum held an awards evening and gala at the Ciragan Palace hotel Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey, which was an incredible venue located along the bank of Istanbul.
Was a perfect location to host a gala and was great fun to celebrate and mingle with the tourism industry and fellow influencers.
As the awards rolled out the fun began!
Blog book of Turkey created by bloggers
This was a nice idea put together for the World Tourism Forum.
The idea was for bloggers to share the areas of Turkey they loved by writing a section of the book to highlight what stands out in Turkey to them.
This was a great way of showcasing our storytelling skills and I was happy to offer a part of Antalya, Turkey which I visited last year.
Thank you for reading my blog post on the World Tourism Forum.
Thank you for reading my blog post on the World Tourism Forum, I hope you found it useful and insightful.
If you do have any further questions, I’m very happy to answer you for. Feel free to leave a comment below in the comment section of this blog post. Thank you.
Before you go