From 8 to 10 August, Antalya Academy of Tourism, represented by the Academy Rector Mr Zafer Bikkenoglu, took part in the large-scale International Tourism Forum and exhibition “Tajikistan-2019”, held in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, with the aim of developing the tourism potential of the republic. The guests of the meeting were members of the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Tajikistan, heads of ministries and departments, representatives of world tourism organizations and agencies, leading scientists and experts in the field of tourism from 25 countries of the world – more than 400 people in total.

On August 9, at the official opening of the forum, distinguished guests addressed with greetings to those present: Peter Yanech – Head of the Department of Europe of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Cassandra Colbert – Regional Manager for Central Asia of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Xie Xiaoyong – Deputy Secretary General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Habibullo Mirzozoda – Executive Director of the Secretariat of the Meeting on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (СICA), Rector of the Academy of tourism in Antalya Zafer Bikkenoglu. In his speech, the latter outlined the possibilities of the tourism sector in Turkey, the training and internship system of the Academy of Tourism, as well as the prospects for cooperation between the Academy of Tourism and the Committee on Tourism Development of Tajikistan. Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu proposed the Academy as a platform for the exchange of experience in the sphere of tourism and services between Tajikistan and Turkey. The Academy is also ready to commit itself to the training of qualified personnel in the hospitality sector of Tajikistan, using the opportunities of online training.


As a result of the forum, a bilateral memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Academy of Tourism in Antalya and the Committee for Tourism Development of Tajikistan, which outlines the main areas of work: providing courses and trainings on the basis of the Academy for teaching hotel and restaurant staff, assistance in attracting investment in tourism in Tajikistan, professional training and much more.

As part of the eventful program of the forum, participants visited the best tourist attractions of the country. The rector of the Academy visited the picturesque Varzob valley, as well as  health resort in the mountains with mineral and thermal waters and radon springs.

Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu expressed his gratitude to the Turkish Embassy in Tajikistan, whose diplomats encouraged Academy participation in this prestigious event and provided all possible assistance and support, following the strategy of the Turkish government to support business and strengthen friendly relations between the countries.

The forum ended with a gala dinner with the participation of the Presidential Orchestra and popular artists of Tajikistan, with words of gratitude addressed to the Government of the country for the excellent organization, cordial welcome, friendly atmosphere and effective results of the meeting.