Istanbul is preparing to host the 24th East Mediterranean International Travel and Tourism (EMITT) Exhibition, one of the world's top four tourism expos, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2.
The expo, organized by the Hyve Group, the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED) and the Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TTYD), expects to host hundreds of tourism operators, travel agencies, hotels, airlines, cruise operators and other tourism-related businesses from around the world at the Tüyap Fair and Congress Center.
The expo's 2020 theme will be the digitalization of marketing and services in the sector and the attendees will have the opportunity to experience the effective use of virtual reality (VR) and discuss the new technological trends transforming the tourism industry.
One of the highlights of the expo will be the virtual exhibition "Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass" by the Louvre Museum. The exhibition will allow visitors to have an enriched personal experience with the world's most famous painting, examine the fine details of the painting, and to observe the texture of the wooden panel and the cracks on it through the layers of paint.
The exhibition will show how VR technology could enable museums and art galleries to reach wider audiences and highlights an important sample of the digitization of tourism.
The expo will also offer visitors the VR experience of Göbeklitepe, an archaeological site in modern-day ÅžanlÄ±urfa that is home to the world's oldest temple. While visitors enjoy the scenes from the ancient site, speakers will discuss ways to transform the industry by including locals in the tourism economy.
The VR shows also include Everest VR, a virtual reality climb of Mount Everest. The program will take users first to basecamp and then proceed to the Khumbu Icefalls, overnight at Camp 4, climb the Hillary Step, and finally conquer the summit of Everest.
During the four-day fair, experts will discuss several new trends in the industry such as using digital sales channels, making influencer collaborations and meeting the demands of millennials.
Last year, the expo attracted 5,620 participating companies and tour operators and 57,470 visitors from 94 countries. Organizers said that the expo is expected to have a record number of visitors this year.