Interview: Dilek Çapanoğlu Executive Committee Member, Istanbul Aquarium
After her graduation, Dilek Çapanoğlu started to work in the construction process of the Istanbul Aquarium. Since then she has had active roles in different projects regarding the Aquarium. Today, she is working as the Executive Committee Member. Istanbul Aquarium is one of the world’s biggest aquariums, hosting 17.000 land and sea creatures within its body.
What makes İstanbul Aquarium unique as a tourist attraction point?
Istanbul Aquarium is one of Turkey’s and world’s most glorious aquariums and within the complex there are various events at all times. It has 17000 land and sea creatures and it rebuilt the world standards. It has a 1.2 km tour route and 16 different theme areas, the Amazon rain forest area and has a very unique story. It serves national and international tourists and is one of the most glorious places within the city. We see that we’re one of the facilities they would prefer to come to. The most important thing in incentive trips is the expectation of “being unique”.
What kind of Technologies used in İstanbul Aquarium?
Istanbul Aquarium is the new brand aquarium of the world, where fish species living in the world’s seas can be seen, with the size of its travel route, thematic areas, a thousand square meter rainforest and interactive new generation technology compared to other aquariums in its field. There are information sections (touch screens, headphones…) created by using various technologies in the each part of the aquarium. All interior and electronic design works are made by well-known foreign brands.
Are there any special activities held in İstanbul Aquarium?
We have a special days calendar which works periodically. While we’re creating this calendar we plan events like children can come during their semester break like Bubble Show, musical theatre events or we plan events during religious holidays which are focused on both children and adults, like DJ performances of Doğukan Manço or signature days. We host photograph exhibitions. Other than that, we have underwater sports supporting shows. Our event calendar is very intense and crowded all year… One of our best events was hosting world famous Human Body plastinasyon exhibition for 1.5 years. It is an anatomy exhibition 20 million people visited in the world. Aquarium has a structure which is dynamic and has to renew itself at all times, so when we’re planning our events we focus more on personal development events.
What are the effects of thematic parks in a country’s tourism?
I believe most of the brands within the sector contribute positively to country’s tourism. Congresses, meetings, organizations and events are growing really fast and National or international visitors plan to come these thematic parks. Our city has gained a new attraction by Istanbul Aquarium. These theme parks like İstanbul Aquarium provide value-added to the economy about tourism and employment .
What is your visitor profile? Do you have any plans to expand it?
We host school groups in week days. Families, couples, or adult groups prefer to visit aquarium at the weekends. National or foreign tourist groups visit here in summer term mostly. We appeal to all age groups, each one gets a different experience in İstanbul Aquarium. We planned new surprises for our visitors in 2016, we will be announcing them according to our calendar. That’s why we will be waiting for everyone to have an unforgettable experience at Istanbul Aquarium.
What kind of options do you have? Do you have any options for special groups?
We have a very unique concept, our thematic trip route has underwater enrichments and we have a concentrated world route. That’s why our facility is able to fulfill their expectations. Since the day we were opened we hosted various motivational trips. We hosted various factories and corporations’ workers here and we continue to do that. We are also one of the best destinations for international groups. We provide discovery diving service with sharks and in the incentive trips we provide group diving service to increase the team working performance. Also, Istanbul Aquarium is one of the most unforgettable places of Turkey for association and school trips.
What do you think about online tourism? How does it affect your business?
The emergence of online technology has started helping tourism operations in many countries in many respects. Itinerary planning, costing, tickets, accommodation etc. have come online. Online tourism equips a tourist, tour operator or travel agent for convenient exchanges using electronic medium. User groups globally are finding online Technologies supportive indecision making for availing tourism products and services. we create online marketing strategies according to the innovations that required by the online tourism.