On September 5, the governor of Antalya province, Munir Karaloglu, met with the rector of the Academy of Tourism in Antalya, Zafer Bikkenoglu, in the governorate of Antalya. The meeting participants discussed  key activity directions and prospects for the development of the Academy of Tourism in the 2020–2021 academic year.

Educational tourism development

Zafer Bikkenoglu sees first priority in the development of educational tourism at the Academy in Antalya. The university has developed and successfully implemented unique educational projects for schoolchildren, students and teachers.

The rector noted that the activity of educational tourism is leading for the Academy. Since 2009, students from different countries received education at the academy. Today, most students are representatives of Russia, Turkey and the CIS countries, including students from Africa, Asia (particularly Pakistan, India, Iran). The university is conducting work aimed at expanding the geography of students and the teaching staff of the university.

The governor welcomed the Academy’s endeavours in this direction and noted that he was ready to support the initiatives of the rector Zafer Bikkenoglu.

Summer camp for children

During the conversation with the governor, the rector of the Academy mentioned successfully implemented project – the Olympus summer camp for children. Over the last few years from June to September, it has been collecting the multinational composition of students at the Academy’s modern campus site. The camp program is very intense: children participate in creative contests, play sports, learn the basics of tourism and go camping, learn English and Turkish, swim, get acquainted with the sights of the Antalya coast and make new friends.

The geography of the participants of this project is expanding every year, and in 2020 the Academy is getting ready to host a group of children from Germany.

Refresher training for teachers

Zafer Bikkenoglu introduced Governor Munir Karaloglu another direction in the field of educational tourism – refresher training courses for university and college teachers organized by the Academy of Tourism. This practice was introduced recently – in 2018, but has already proved itself well. During the courses, teachers acquire new theoretical and practical knowledge, share experience with colleagues from different countries and spend great time on the Mediterranean coast.

International Knowledge Olympiad in Antalya

Holding the 11th International Olympiad of Knowledge in Antalya, which has been taking place for 10 years during the school autumn holidays at the Academy of Tourism, was an important topic of the meeting. The uniqueness of this event is that schoolchildren and students from Russia, Turkey and the CIS countries have the opportunity to test their knowledge in 11 subjects at once, as well as make new friends and have fun on the Mediterranean coast.

The governor expressed confidence that this year the composition of the Olympiad will be expanded by Turkish schoolchildren, as in 2019 Turkey switched to a new training regime: two academic semesters replaced the quarters, and the holidays of Turkish schoolchildren now coincide with the Russian ones.

According to the rector of the Academy of Tourism, at least 800 people are expected to attend the event this year. The Governor of Antalya announced the initiative for the participation of the guests of the Olympiad in the march held on October 29 in Antalya and dedicated to the national holiday of Turkey – Republic Day.

Expanding the scope of cooperation

The governor offered Zafer Bikkenoglu the idea of ​​cooperation between the Academy of Tourism and one of the leading universities in Antalya – Bilim University, since the latter has many years of experience in teaching students from different countries, and the faculty members of this university include tutors from 19 countries.

During the meeting, the governor of Antalya telephoned the rector of the University of Bilim, Professor Ismail Yuksek and outlined a proposal for cooperation between universities. In future, the leaders of the Academy of Tourism and Bilim University will hold a business meeting where they will be able to discuss international projects in detail.

At the end of the meeting, Rector Zafer Bikkenoglu thanked the Governor of Antalya for his interest in the educational projects of the Academy of Tourism in Antalya and the support provided in their implementation.

The VATEL network includes 50 hospitality management schools located in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. Their mission is preparing the young generation for building a professional future in the international hospitality and tourism management industry.

The network of VATEL schools, covering four continents, according to professionals, is rightfully considered the world’s first group of business schools for hotel and tourist management.

On August 19, 2019, the regional director of the VATEL International Hotel and Tourism Management School for Turkey and Cyprus Ali Dogan Chakmak visited the Tourism Academy in Antalya.

During a meeting with the Academy rector Mr Zafer Bikkenoglu, issues of cooperation were discussed. In particular, the project of opening a branch of the VATEL school on the basis of the Academy of Tourism. The parties discussed various options and schemes of partnership.

Cooperation with the international network of VATEL schools will open up great prospects for students of the Academy of Tourism. These include the possibility of studying in Paris, Madrid, Los Angeles, Brussels, Switzerland and Singapore, obtaining a bachelor’s degree based on VATEL schools, as well as completing internships with subsequent employment in the best hotels in the world.

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.

On June 28, Rector of the Antalya Academy of Tourism, Zafer Bikkenoglu, at the invitation of local authorities and founders attended the opening of the new campus of the ‘Ecole Supérieure Internationale de Savignac’ business school, located in France in Savignac, close to Perigueux – the cultural capital of the Dordogne district, after Paris being the most visited place in France by tourists from all over the world, famous for its medieval castles, museums, cathedrals under protection of UNESCO.

The founder of the ‘Ecole de Savignac’ international business school is the Dordogne Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which finances the institution from the local budget and administers it involving private individuals. This is an example of partnership between government and business in the field of education.

The business school was founded in June 1989. By the 30th anniversary, students and the leadership of the educational institution received as a gift a new campus, located in a restored historical building.

The state is actively developing a training system in the sphere of tourism and provides all kinds of support to educational institutions in this area. At the Bachelor’s degree level, the ‘Ecole de Savignac’ school trains specialists in the field of hospitality management, catering, events, leisure, and management services. Students study according to MBA programs in French and English and receive European diplomas. Graduates work for leading French, European and global companies.

The opening ceremony of the new campus was attended by top officials of the cities of Savignac and Perigueux and of the Dordogne department, graduates of previous years who became very successful in the chosen business: they received a master’s degree, completed postgraduate studies, got their PhD. After the opening of the new campus, diplomas were awarded to five hundred graduates of 2019. İn a warm atmosphere they expressed gratitude to their alma mater for the knowledge acquired.

A cooperation project was signed between the Tourism Academy and ‘Ecole de Savignac’At at a business meeting between the Rector of the Academy of Tourism in Antalya Zafer Bikkenoglu and the management of the ‘Ecole de Savignac’ international school in Savignac. In future, students of the Academy of Tourism in Antalya will be able to study at the Academy and the business school under the double diploma program, as well as travel to France for an internship.

France offers an excellent system of higher education not only for its citizens, but also for foreigners. The ‘Ecole de Savignac’ business school is actively attracting international students and anyone interested in attending international courses. The school has partners in Sinegal and other countries. Students from educational institutions of these countries arrive to ‘Ecole de Savignac’ and attend lectures during one semester. The perspective of such work is being discussed with the Academy of Tourism in Antalya.

During celebration Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu was given the floor for greetings and congratulations. The Rector of the Academy of Tourism wished good luck, prosperity, new discoveries to the management and students of the ‘Ecole de Savignac’ business school, and also presented a gift to the founder and director of the school on the occasion of the opening of the new building and in memory of the Academy.

On 13th-14th of June Antalya Tourism Academy attended the HOSCO Summit.

The HOSCO Summit means more than 150 hospitality professionals: more than 60 schools and 50 tourism companies from 22 countries. The Summit promotes building solid relations with HR experts and leading schools from around the world, raising the most relevant issues that really matter in the hospitality right now.

The summit participants could boost their ROI thanks to the one-on-ones with decision-makers from +60 international schools, enhance relationships with schools, expand the network, and discuss new and exciting placements opportunities for hospitality schools graduates.

Participants listened to first-class hospitality keynote speakers, took part in exciting debates, and attended fascinating conferences. The Academy of Tourism in Antalya built relationships with new hotels regarding graduates placement, as well as found new partner schools to cooperate in teachers and students exchange, research and other fields.

On August 24, 2019, a meeting between Rector Mr Zafer Bikkenoglu and Mr Khem R. Lakai, founder of the Global Academy of Tourism and Hospitality Education of Nepal (GATE), took place at the Academy of Tourism in Antalya.

The Global Academy of Tourism and Hospitality (GATE) is one of Nepal’s leading hospitality colleges. Located in Mandikhatar, Kathmandu, it is the first college in Asia to provide a Swiss degree.

GATE’s academic program is articulated and accredited by the HotellerieSuisse, (SHA), based on a Swiss study model and Swiss applied education concepts. The educational standards are crafted by University of Zurich which corresponds to European Qualification Framework (EQF): Level 6.

During the meeting, various issues of cooperation were considered, including a double diploma program, internships for students of the Academy of Tourism in Antalya in Europe and Australia, since with these countries the GATE Academy has close ties and long-term cooperation.

Mr Khem R. Lakai invited Mr Zafer Bikkenoglu to the 58th EUHOFA Congress, which will be held in Nepal in November 2019. GATE Academy will host the congress. EUHOFA International is a non-profit association of directors of hotel schools, as well as deans of hospitality colleges and universities, which organize such events with the aim of exchanging experiences and improving the quality of education in the field of tourism and hospitality.

The rector of the Antalya Academy of Tourism and the representative of the international department attended the ‘East Meets West in Hospitality and Tourism education’ Global Conference on tourism and hospitality, which was held concurrently with the 2019 APacCHRIE & EuroCHRIE conference at the ICON Hotel in Hong Kong. The conference serves as a unique excellent platform for scientists, industry leaders, magazine editors, young scientists and researchers to define a future roadmap for the global hospitality and tourism industry and demonstrates the concept of “East meets the West” in hospitality and tourism education, where ideas shape the future of hospitality and tourism industries.


Representatives of the Academy signed an agreement with the HOSCO Internet portal, which provides students and graduates of high schools with internships and employment in the best hotels around the world. They also established new partnerships with education leaders in the field of tourism and hospitality in Europe, America and Asia.

They say if you want to see what the Alps looked like before the invasion of tourists, head to Altayskiy Kray. Perhaps today you will not find a person who would not hear about the special vibes of these places, sometimes associated with mystical stories, shamans and magical healings. This is a region where tourism is one of the most promising and actively developing sectors of the economy. Extreme sports are combined here with a quiet family vacation, mountains with picturesque plains, the present lives alongside the past.

Hiking and horseback riding routes, rafting along mountain rivers, memorial sites of famous actors and writers, mineral springs and curative mud combined with pristine wilderness, mountain climbing, first people campsites, ski tourism delight even the most well-travelled tourists who come here from all over Russia.

From 8th to 14th of June, 2019 the rector of the Antalya Academy of Tourism, Mr Zafer Bikkenoglu, visited this amazing pleasant land as a part of delegations of fellow countrymen from Turkey, Ukraine and Japan.

A study visit as part of the celebration of Russia Day-2019 was organized by the Altayskiy kray regional authority with the aim of introducing the potential of the Altayskiy kray, as well as propagation and promoting the natural and historical heritage and organizing further cooperation within the departmental target program “Support and development of relations with fellow countrymen abroad”. Prominent representatives of public associations and businesses of the Russian foreign diaspora were invited to participate in the events.

On 9th of June, the opening of the festival “Great Altay. Russia – 2019” took place as one of the most ambitious tourism projects that are being implemented under the auspices of the International Coordinating Council “Our Common Home – Altay”. This council includes the regions of Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. More than 700 athletes from Russia, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Armenia for six days challenged the right to be called the best in 17 kinds of contests, including fishing sport, mountaineering, cycling and caravanning, orienteering, skyrunning, rock climbing, rafting, arm wrestling.

This is the fourth international cultural and sports festival: the first was held in Mongolia, the second festival was hosted by China, Kazakhstan was the location of the third one. Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu noted the scale of the festival, as well as its support, including grant support, by executive authorities.

On 10th of June, Rector of the Academy of Tourism in Antalya, as an expert, took part in the youth management forum “ALD. Altay – land of development”, a key event in the visit program, held in modern tourist and entertainment complex “Siberian İnn”. The forum was opened by the Governor of Altayskiy kray Viktor Tomenko and the authorised representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Siberian Federal District Sergey Menyaylo. State Duma deputy, legendary hockey player Vyacheslav Fetisov came to congratulate young managers.

800 participants aged 18 to 35 years from 74 regions of Russia and 13 foreign countries, honored guests, eminent experts, mentors and volunteers – in total more than 1,500 people attended lectures, gave tips and assessments, shared their experiences at workshops, round tables and trainings, made new friends and business partners, received grants.

The rector of the Antalya Academy of Tourism, Zafer Bikkenoglu, shared his experience in the effective development of the tourism business during the master class “In the tourist flow”. Turkey has long become a tourist mecca, so the Rector of the Academy had a lot to tell his younger colleages who have yet to bring tourism in their native Altayskiy kray to the world level. The participants in the master class, young and ambitious people, new in this area – listened with great interest and attention, asked a lot of questions.

In conclusion of this productive meeting, the Rector of the Academy noted that the guys live in a unique place, having huge tourism potential, on a par with Turkey. He also wished them to protect their native land and develop it.


In an interview with ‘Katun-24’channel, Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu expressed hope for cooperation and strengthening ties between the Academy of Tourism in Antalya and Turkey as a whole and the Altayskiy kray.

On 10th , 11th  and 12th of June, the organizers of the visit prepared a trip to the modern resort sub-cluster ‘Belokurikha-2’ and the magnificent resort complex ‘Belokurikha Resort’, as well as memorable climb on the cable-way to Mount Tserkovka, and a fascinating visit to the Fisherman’s Village.

Participation of Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu in the All-Russian Festival of Traditional Culture “Day of Russia on Turquoise Katun”, which was included in the National Calendar of Events – a federal project on the best tourist events of the country, was an important point of the visit.

“Day of Russia on the Turquoise Katun” began on 11th of June with the settlement in a log cabins of a tourist complex, located in a picturesque place on the banks of the extraordinary beautiful Aya Lake, where numerous delegations of fellow countrymen from different countries had the opportunity to meet, communicate, share ideas and experiences, and, of course, enjoy the beauty of Altay nature, Lake Aya, the magnificent and strong Katun River.

On 12th of June, the ‘Turquoise Katun’ tourist complex hosted a round table discussion entitled “Media actions to harmonize interethnic relations in Russia” and other events within the framework of the festival.

On the same evening guests witnessed grand fireworks in honor of the Russia Day on the central square of  Barnaul, the capital of the Altayskiy kray.

Several significant meetings took place on the penultimate day of the visit. On 13th of June, Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu visited the RSBPEİ Altay Academy of Hospitality, which hosted a round table, where he made a presentation of the Tourism Academy in Antalya and showed a video film about the Academy. Representatives of the Altay State University, Altay State Institute of Culture and other educational institutions were the participants of the event.

The management of the Altay Academy of Hospitality, as well as the head of the Altayskiy kray Department for the Development of Tourism and Resort Activities, Evgeny Deshevykh, expressed interest in cooperating with the Academy of Tourism and made a number of proposals for joint projects that are currently under discussion.

On 13th of June, at the site of the Altayskiy Kray Russian-German House, Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu, as chairman of the Board of the International Association of Investors of Russia, met with the business community of Altayskiy Kray, which was represented by businessmen developing export-oriented enterprises and industries of the region interested in expanding foreign economic relations.

Entrepreneurs received information on the specifics of working in the Turkish market, established new business contacts, discussed opportunities and proposals for the sale of food, health and engineering products. Business representatives expressed gratitude to Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu for acting as an intermediary in organizing export transactions for the supply of Altay products to the Turkish market.

At the end of the meeting, entrepreneurs presented the guests with everything that the Altayskiy kray is famous for and that is produced only there: souvenirs, the famous Altay honey, medicated herbal tea, balms and much, much more. Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu thanked for the unique gifts and expressed hope for a meeting with businessmen already on Turkish soil.

Leaving the hospitable Altayskiy kray, the Rector of the Academy of Tourism in Antalya expressed his admiration for the Altayskiy kray authorities for the excellent organization of fellow countrymen study visit, warm hospitality, attention and cordiality, significant funds spent for this vital event to happen. Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu invited the organizers to pay a return visit to Turkey and the Antalya Academy of Tourism.

He also noted that, having traveled along the Altayskiy kray for almost 1000 km in a comfortable minibus provided by the organizers, he was able to meet and forever fall in love with the nature and atmosphere of this land and understand that people living here truly love their homeland and care about it. Mr. Zafer Bikkenoglu wished success and prosperity to the kray and to everyone who works for its benefit.