Move is part of destination’s wider social media marketing strategy
The sponsorship deals are part of a wider focus on social media for the popular tourist destination.
Previously called the Bloggers’ Speed Networking, this year’s WTM London Digital Influencers’ Speed Networking event will be the biggest so far. The hugely popular 90-minute session takes place on Wednesday 7 November at 9am in the Global Stage Networking Area (AS1000).
It will see 120 leading industry digital influencers hold quick-fire business meeting with exhibitors interested in increasing their media exposure. This year, there will be an increased focus on YouTubers and Instagrammers.
Volkan Akgul, Director of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in London, said the sponsorship is part of the country’s increasing focus on social media as a strategy to promote tourism. Its attractions, such as the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, as well as breathtaking scenery and ancient sites elsewhere in the country, have made Turkey one of the most prominent destinations on sites such as Instagram.
He said: “Turkey hosts many riches from Asia to Europe, from the Turquoise Coast to the lush Black Sea forests, from rich culture and history to delicious Turkish cuisine. All this is the winning formula for an ‘Instagrammable’ destination.”
Continuing the digital theme, Turkey is also sponsoring the category of Best Digital Influencer in the Industry at the brand new International Travel & Tourism Awards (ITTAs), presented by WTM London.
Taking place at a glittering showcase in Tobacco Dock on Tuesday, November 6, the new ITTAs celebrate the success of national, regional and city tourist boards and recognises outstanding private sector companies and individuals.
Mr Akgul continued: “Social media is one of the main promotional tools for Turkey. We are one of the top destinations in the world that uses social platforms effectively to interest, educate and attract travellers to Turkey.
“Turkey’s social media campaign is called ‘Turkey Home’, with many slogans emphasising that Turkey is the home of coffee, baklava, tea and civilisations, among others.
“Like many tourism boards, our aim is to co-operate with companies and influencers; to create content for Turkey. WTM London offers opportunities for us to communicate with like-minded influencers.
“As Turkey Home, we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and sponsor this year’s speed networking event and award ceremony.
“Over the years we have steadily increased our budgets for digital and social media campaigns and have huge growth in interest about Turkey on social media.
“We are constantly in contact with influencers and companies that have an impact in this field, and we worked on various collaborations with tremendous results. We are excited to be the sponsor for WTM Digital Influencers’ Speed Networking and the Best Digital Influencer category at the inaugural International Travel & Tourism Awards.
“We place social and digital channels at the centre of our campaigns in order to reach the right people at the right time, in the right place and with the right messages.”
WTM London, Press & PR Manager and ITTAs Co-founder, Paul Nelson, said: “Turkey is a great example of how a destination is keeping up with the times by using the latest tech and social media advancements to showcase its rich history and natural wonders to the rest of world.
“Images of Turkey’s picture-perfect coastline, ancient wonders, enticing food, vibrant markets and welcoming people have been shared endless times around the world on social media – so much so that popular city-break destination Istanbul could well be renamed ‘Instanbul’ in recognition of its popularity among Instagrammers.”