Eda Ozden of MEP talks to ITCMBirgul Ozden, President of MEP Destination Business Solutions, is a familiar personality at the international MICE exhibitions. Now her daughter Eda, born and brought up in the MICE sector of Turkey, is coming more and more into the limelight. It was Eda who managed the MEP stand at The Meetings Show in London last week.
She was very happy to report that corporate group business into Turkey is very buoyant.
‘And not only to Istanbul’, she pointed out. ‘We have just booked three groups of 200 delegates back to back for Bodrun from the UK.’
MEP is possibly the most experienced and best connected DMC in Turkey and this means that it can provide unique programmes and events for its clients. At Destination Business Solutions ITCM has a video showing how MEP was able to stage a remarkable gala dinner on a bridge across the Bosphorus that links Europe with Asia. Now, Eda was able to tell ITCM about a series of dinners they organised actually in one of the streets in the Grand Bazaar.
‘The shops stayed open around the guests’, she explained, ‘so they were immersed in the whole atmosphere of the Bazaar. They sat on low chairs, old Turkish-style, and the food was available at stalls as in a typical Turkish market.’
Eda says that the Asian countries have now discovered Turkey as a destination and MEP Destination Business Solutions is actively encouraging further growth.
‘Group organisers are keen but some are still at a comparatively early stage and I find that I am required to explain many things about the structure of the MICE sector in the West and especially the pricing. They sometime confuse the services provided by a DMC with those of a tour operator.’