DMC World View – Turkey

DMC ODS Turkey anticipates 2023 will be one of its strongest years since opening 24 years ago.

With Turkey’s elections now complete, the business tourism sector is anticipating a strong end to 2023 and plenty of new business in 2024. In the tenth instalment of our DMC World View series, we talk to ODS Turkey managing director, Hasan Dinc, about the local business climate and current offerings.

Hasan Dinc.

Key points:

  • In the last six months our business leads have risen by 130 per cent
  • 2023 will be one of the company’s strongest years
  • Sustainability and CSR programs grew pre-pandemic and continue to grow in popularity
  • Pre and post-event activity demand is extremely high

Established for 24 years, ODS Turkey creates memorable travel experiences for clients from around the world.

During the pandemic, we considered ourselves lucky because Turkey wasn’t closed entirely. Thanks to the wide range of markets we are active in, we continued operating and kept our entire team intact.

We found increased business in the high-end luxury segment. From mid-2021 until the present day, we have operated more than 100 private jet services to the Turkish resort areas and to Istanbul. Because our infrastructure and overall service supply chain continued almost throughout the pandemic period, we did not face any service issues.

This fact granted us a splendid pole position when demand started to return in 2022 in all markets and all segments.

A farewell dinner at Binbirdirek Cistern for a European group of 500 people.

We currently offer services in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Antalya, Kusadasi, and Bodrum and lesser-known parts of Turkey.

Sustainability and ecological programs came to the fore pre-pandemic and now continue to grow. This is in line with our priority to be an environmentally conscious entity. We committed to Biosphere in November 2022 and can proudly announce that we received the Biosphere sustainable certification after more than six months of intensive work.

Although having a solid infrastructure and experience to run and manage online meetings, the demand for online – or virtual – dropped tremendously post-COVID. During the pandemic, we built our own studio and showcased our destination in a virtual but “live” way.

We welcomed more than 40 groups and 200 individual bookings in 2022 and the outlook for 2023 continues to look very promising. In fact, we anticipate 2023 will be one of our strongest years since we opened.

The majority of our programs are meetings and incentives topped up by the high-end leisure and special interest programs.

An exclusive 16-person sunset cocktail experience in the stunning Turkish Valley Cappadocia.

Groups this year are coming from throughout the world including the Americas, Asia, Russia, South Africa and Europe. In the last six months our business leads have risen by 130 per cent, with most of these coming from these countries.

We expected smaller groups to travel after the COVID outbreak which followed the general predictions of the wider tourism sector. In reality, what we saw was a considerable number of large group movements – much more than we expected. Corporate companies were also coming to us with higher budgets than we had experienced previously.

We are also experiencing a growth in pre- and post-event activity and demand. It seems that many event participants are wanting to extend their stay.

The number of programs with nature-based activities have increased, especially from the European and North American markets. There are certainly more CSR activities in demand.

The most popular is activities with children and schools. After the devastating earthquake that affected Turkey on 6 February, many of our clients were wanting to incorporate CSR programs that would assist those affected in the earthquake zones.

New attractions and experiences

Turkish Gastronomy

In order to introduce the deep-rooted and unique Turkish cuisine to more people, ODS Turkey runs programs and tours in different regions of Turkey with a focus on Turkish gastronomy. With many restaurants in Turkey with Michelin stars, and recognising a growing interest in food, we are presently preparing programs to highlight these restaurants during its gastronomic tours.

Breakfast in the exquisite Cappadocia Valley, Turkey.

Cave hotels in Cappadocia

The region known as Cappadocia is a stunning area of otherworldly rock formations, subterranean churches and underground dwellings, the scale of which is said to be “overwhelming”. The area is also famous for its carpet-weaving, wines and the distinctive red pottery of the Avanos area. Cappadocia offers unique accommodation opportunities in cave hotels. Guest rooms and spa areas are carved into the landscape of the region providing a unique experience for guests. Cave hotels in this area are considered boutique, offering a small number of rooms. There are, however, accommodation options for large groups and meeting facilities for conference needs.

Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Hotel is a new property that is proving popular, particularly because of its location on the Bosphorus waterfront. This magnificent hotel combines Turkish culture and unique hospitality with Turkish traditional elegance and luxury. The hotel consists of four historic buildings, three of which are fully restored.

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