The opening ceremony of the “9th Tourism Graduate Students Research Congress” organized by the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Faculty of Tourism in collaboration with the Anatolia Tourism Academy took place on Friday, the 6th of April 2018. The opening ceremony of the said congress that will be taking place between the 5th and 8th of April 2018 commenced at the Rauf Raif Denktaş Culture and Congress Center at 09:00 with a moment of silence and the national anthem. In his opening speech EMU Faculty of Tourism Dean and Congress Vice-Chairman Prof. Dr. Hasan Kılıç thanked everyone for their participation. Stating that they are very happy to be hosts of such a meaningful organization Prof. Dr. Kılıç noted that evaluating the field of tourism academically will contribute to both national and international sources. Prof. Dr. Kılıç continued to state that tourism encompasses a lot of different fields such as economics, business, sociology and anthropology and that it is comprised of topics from different disciplines. Prof. Dr. Kılıç emphasized that the congress which aims to scientifically contribute to the field of tourism will feature over 80 presentations in 5 different sessions
In a speech of his own, Congress Chairman Prof. Dr. Metin Kozak provided information about previous work carried out. Thanking all involved in the organization of the event Prof. Dr. Kozak highlighted that the congress is taking place at EMU for the first time outside of Turkey, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Tourism is Very Important for the Economic Development of the Country
EMU Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Promotion Prof. Dr. stated that tourism is very important for the economic development of the country highlighting that it is very important that this tourism is sustainable. Prof. Dr. Özkaramanlı underlined that the EMU Faculty of Tourism is taking firm steps in scientific production, emphasizing that they will be continuing to contribute to the tourism sector of the country. Prof. Dr. Özkaramanlı concluded by wishing everyone a fruitful congress.
Famagusta Mayor İsmail Arter stated that he hopes the congress organized with the aim of evaluating the countries’ tourism will be productive. Indicating that the tourism sector is very important for our country, Arter described the sector as a deep rooted, multi-branched tree.
Undersecretary of the TRNC Ministry of Tourism and Environment Assoc. Prof. Dr. İsmet Esenyel indicated that developing tourism isn’t an easy task and that strategic planning which focuses on long-term rather than immediate success is required. Addressing the participants, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Esenyel stated “young people like yourselves must be constantly generating ideas.”
EMU is a University That Makes it’s Difference Felt
TRNC Parliamentary Speaker Teberrüken Uluçay highlighted that the tourism sector is one of the most important sectors for all countries describing it as a sector which plays a big role in economic development. Expressing that EMU is a university which always makes its difference felt Uluçay relayed his belief that the congress organized in collaboration with EMU will be successful. Highlighting that progress and increased revenue in tourism requires a sustainable environment, sustainable development and protection of cultural heritage Uluçay addressed the participants by stating “Your academic studies are very important for the future. Tourism activity constitutes the base of activities that draw countries closer together. The more developed tourism becomes, the more peaceful the environment that people live in becomes. Tourism is important for bringing people together.”
Following the opening speeches, Prof. Dr. Özkaramanlı presented Teberrüken Uluçay, Assoc. Prof. Dr. İsmet Esenyel, İsmail Arter, Prof. Dr. Osman M. Karatepe, Prof. Dr. Metin Kozak and Prof. Dr. Nazmi Kozak plaques of appreciation for their contributions to the congress. Prof. Dr. Metin Kozak and Prof. Dr. Nazmi Kozak presented Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altınay a “Service To Tourism Education Award” and Prof. Dr. Hasan Kılıç presented Dr. Mehmet Kral a “Service to TRNC’s Tourism Sector Award”.
It was also informed that quality work at the “9th Tourism Graduate Students Research Congress” will be rewarded by a jury comprising of Tourism and Hospitality Management academic staff members in categories such as best doctoral PhD, best master’s PhD and best research paper.