Mediterranean Summit 2016

The Mediterranean Summit, organized for the first-time in 2015 in order to keep the finger on the pulse of other regions as well as its main event in Istanbul, was held in Antalya this year. At the summit, World Tourism Forum President Bulut Bağcı announced four programs
set to take place in major capitals around the globe. The first will be in Moscow on Jan. 19 followed by Istanbul on Feb. 16-18 with the participation of President Erdoğan. Antalya, the destination to discuss tourism Calling Antalya the right destination for discussions on tourism, BBC News host Kasia Madera said the tourism mobility flowing to the city was incredible. Highlighting the fact that even though tourism does not claim to bring World peace, it can actually make a very important contribution towards the issue, Madera said "people want to see new places in the world and get to know new people."

Holiday posts top lists for 51 percent of social media users "Let's end the summer season where we started," that was my latest Instagram post with the hashtags #antalya #feelglobalbelocal #worldtourismforum. I had the chance to start this summer season with the opening of Expo 2016 Antalya in April and now I have ended it with the World Tourism
Forum Mediterranean Summit. After sharing my post showing a beautiful view of Antalya with my friends, I attended a session of the forum where I learned that 51 percent of social media users prioritize their holidays as one of top three post types, as they like to share their travel experience, with their friends and relatives.

Another attendee at the summit, Facebook's head of sales Erdem Çelik, speaking at the program revealed that 84 percent of people choose their travel destinations according to where their relatives and friends went before. This percentage makes social media posts more valuable as they help people decide where to go. This can be an opportunity for tourism companies, as they may understand what people are into.

Referring to the forum's motto "Feel Global Be Local," Çelik said it would be important to add this motto as well "be more relevant to the users." "Try to understand where they are,
what they are doing, what they are interested in, try to know who intends to go on a vacation," Çelik said, underlining the audience is there, but it is important to send the messages at the right time. The tourism sector can use social media platforms to advertise, as people now mostly make their decisions online.

Digitization of tourism is a growing trend according to Baher Badr, Head of Marketing of Attar Travel. People like to search for travel destinations online and see other people's experiences. Online reservation services like "booking.com" also helps people learn about
others' experiences. These services are expected to expand their share in the tourism industry as people become more into customer-based services instead of traditional tour packages.