The first Ethics Workshop in Tourism was held in Izmır, Türkiye

The Tourism Working Group of Izmir City Council gathered the 7 main sector components around the Ethical Values of World Tourism Organization in Tourism.

Türkiye's first ‘Ethics Workshop in Tourism’ was organized by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Izmir City Council, Izmir Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, and Izmir Foundation, with the participation of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer and Izmir Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism Murat Karaçanta.

The workshop, held at the Historical Gas Factory, was attended by Nilay Kökkılınç (the President of Izmir City Council) Emre Gezgin Skål International Turkey Vice President, (the Chairman of the Tourism Working Group of Izmir City Council) M. Anıl Kaçar ( the Secretary General of Izmir City Council) Murat Karaçanta (Izmir Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism), Günnur Diker Skål International Istanbul Member (a member of the Ethics Board of the UN World Tourism Organization) Mine Güneş Kaya (Skål International İzmir Secretary General and PR Committee Member of Skål International), Bülent Tercan (Skål International İzmir Board Member) and Skål International İzmir Members (Macit Şaşzade, Onur Türkay, Ayşegül Selçuki, Engin Ceylan, Zülkif Mermut, Rıza Elibol, Berrin Şenli, Sinem Dağdelen, Pelin Omuroğlu) together with 16 representatives and members of NGOs:

  • Skål Internartional: Skål International İzmir & Skål International İstanbul & Turkish Federation of Skål International

  • TÜRSAB: Association of Turkish Travel Agencies

  • ETİK: Aegean Touristic Enterprises and Accommodations Union

  • İZRO: İzmir Chamber of Tourist Guides

  • TUROYD: Tourism Hotel Professionals Association

  • İZTO: İzmir Chamber of Commerce

  • ATURJET: Association of Turkish Journalists and Writers of Tourism

  • FİJET TÜRKİYE: International Tourism Journalists And Writers Federation Türkiye

  • İZMİR VAKFI: İzmir Foundation

  • İZMİR İL KÜLTÜR VE TURİZM MÜDÜRLÜĞÜ: İzmir Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism

  • İBB: İzmir Metropolitan Municipality

  • TUROB: Hotel Association of Türkiye

  • TUREVS: Tourism Houses Touristic Homes and Pensions Association

  • AKDENİZ TURİZM VAKFI: Mediterranean Tourism Foundation

  • EGE TURİZM DERNEĞİ: Aegean Tourism Association

  • IFITT: International Federation for Information Technologies and Travel & Tourism  & IFITT Türkiye

The workshop focused on the identification of professional ethical problems in the 7 different sector components of Travel Agency & Tour Operation, Professional Tourist Guiding, Accommodation, NGOs, Gastronomy, Tourism Press, and Tourism Technologies, seeking solutions to these problems based on the Ethics Codes of the UN World Tourism Organization, and the adaptation of the ethical principles of the UN World Tourism Organization to the tourism sector.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Tunç Soyer emphasized that ethics in tourism is a fundamental principle that enhances the well-being of all stakeholders in tourism when Nilay Kökkılınç, the President of Izmir City Council, stated in her speech that the concept of ethics aims to achieve human happiness on every platform. 

Emre Gezgin, the Chairman of the Tourism Working Group of Izmir City Council, Skål International Turkey Vice President, mentioned in his speech that the groups established and consisted of members who are distinguished experts in the sector, and their projects based on the principle of volunteering have been carried out since May 4, 2022, and are based on innovative and sustainable principles. Emre Gezgin stated that the evaluation of the new keywords in tourism that have become part of the promotion paradigm of our city, from sustainable tourism to gastronomy, which emerged under the leadership of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality in recent years, will contribute significantly to the development of tourism. He also mentioned their plans to organize the ‘Tourism Ethics Panel’ at the national level next year and the ‘International Tourism Ethics Congress’ the following year, which align with their vision of innovation and sustainability. 

Murat Karaçanta, the Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism in Izmir, emphasized the importance of ethics in tourism, stating, "We come across complaints that businesses act unethically in order to attract more customers and generate more profits at a lower cost. We face situations such as misleading advertisements and unfulfilled promises. We receive many complaints about unreasonable prices, lack of cleanliness and hygiene, and the failure to protect the rights of employees and customers. Although we take administrative measures in these cases, these incidents have a negative impact on our country's tourism".

Günnur Diker, a member of the Ethics Board of the UN World Tourism Organization, Skål International Istanbul Member, highlighted that this workshop being held in Izmir as the first of its kind in Türkiye is very meaningful and important and stated that in order to implement ethics, it is necessary to plan, implement, control, and repeat if it is correct.

The workshop concluded with the presentation of participation certificates to valuable participants and thank-you certificates to the esteemed professors who attended the workshop.

The most beautiful part of the event is the gathering of our Skålleagues from various sectors and institutions mentioned, and coming together in Izmir around the ethical values of tourism. This event was organized with the aim of bringing together different components of the industry to identify ethical issues in tourism, seek solutions, and adapt the ethical principles of the UN World Tourism Organization to the sector. Representatives from sectors such as Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Professional Tourist Guiding, Accommodation, NGOs, Gastronomy, Tourism Media, and Tourism Technologies coming together has facilitated the sharing of different perspectives and experiences. This event has been an important step in preserving and promoting ethical values in the tourism industry. The participants have conducted scientific studies to identify professional ethical issues and provide solutions. Additionally, it has been emphasized that acting in accordance with the ethical codes of the UN World Tourism Organization and valuing ethical principles will enhance the well-being and sustainability of the tourism sector.