Each year, the Department of Tourism and Hotel Management hosts the Bilkent Tourism Forum, with the aim of encouraging cooperation between the tourism industry and institutions of higher education. This year’s forum, the seventh to be held, will take place on December 12 and will also celebrate the department’s 30th anniversary.
The theme of the 2018 forum is “Tourism 4.0,” with a focus on technological developments and their impact on the tourism industry. Participants and attendees will include representatives of key players in the industry, as well as academics and students.
Established in 1988, in accordance with the vision of university founder Prof. İhsan Doğramacı regarding the importance of tourism for Turkey, the Bilkent University Department of Tourism and Hotel Management is the oldest such department at a private institution of higher education in Turkey. In the 30 years since its founding, the department has graduated over 3,900 students.
During their time at Bilkent, THM students receive a strong grounding in foreign languages and management skills, and gain extensive knowledge of the industry. Alumni who have volunteered comments on what their education has meant to their careers had high praise for the department. Funda Eratıcı (THM ’94; regional director of sales operations for Hilton Worldwide) gave credit to THM’s expert instructors, challenging class projects and mandatory internships “that gave me a chance to apply what I had learned in real-life settings,” while Devrim Kahramanoğlu (THM ’00; director of operations for Jumeriah Hotels and Resorts’ Grosvenor House Suites in London) cited the skill sets he developed at Bilkent, from “excellent command of the English language” to “the ability to articulate a compelling business case.” Cihan Kıpçak (THM ’08; executive chef at Spago Istanbul) noted that the recommendation of a course instructor to go to Switzerland led to work experience that he called “the turning point of my career.”
All technology and tourism enthusiasts are invited to attend the Bilkent Tourism Forum. A detailed program for the event may be found on the department’s web page, http://thm.bilkent.edu.tr/forum/. Students taking GE250/251 will receive course points for attending the forum.