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Turkey honors its best in tourism

The one and only awards ceremony among tourism professionals in Turkey is the glamorous SKALITE Awards ceremony, which was held Sunday night at Istanbul Hilton Hotel.

Recognized by Turkey’s tourism professionals as “Oscars of the tourism industry,” the SKALITE Awards, on its 11th anniversary, is the most reputable and the only awards of its kind, honoring world class tourism businesses and people of exceptional quality and value in Turkey.

Recipients of the SKALITE Awards were honored and overall category winners announced in the luxurious surroundings of the Istanbul Hilton, one of Istanbul’s most prestigious hospitality venues.

Istanbul Skal club president Kemal Ozyigit was the host of the party, which was attended by Turkey’s top tourism business leaders, politicians and press representatives. The guest of honor was newly-elected Skal International president Hulya Aslantas. Also in attendance were Skal Turkey president Salih Cene and Skal Turkey chapter presidents and members, TUROB president Timur Bayindir and TURSAB president Basaran Ulusoy.

A SKALITE 2008 special award was presented to Skal International world president Hulya Aslantas. Upon receiving the award, she said: “I am so happy to represent a Turkish woman to be the president of most prestigious world tourism organization. What I accomplish is with the team work of you my dear friends, and I thank you all very much.”

SKALITE is the brainchild of Aslantas, who suggested that this event be held in all chapters of the Skal organization.

Skal International Istanbul has brought the concept of “quality in tourism” through the SKALITE awards, which was given in 1998 for the first time. The purpose of the event is not only rewarding persons and institutions who have aimed at raising the quality of Turkey’s tourism products and services, but to ensure that the people who have adopted quality as a philosophy of management are honored for setting an example to the people working in the sector.

More than 9,000 votes were cast by tourism professionals for the awards. Many tourism organizations have been nominated in 14 categories including airlines, airports, hotels, car hire, destinations, resorts, spas and travel agencies.

Skal, founded as an international association in 1934, is the largest organization of travel and tourism professionals in the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry’s managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest. It has approximately 23,000 members in 500 clubs throughout 90 countries.

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