By Safvan Allahverdi
WASHINGTON (AA) - Americans on Saturday flocked to Turkish stands at the annual travel show in the U.S. capital, eager to acquaint themselves with Turkey.
As the nation's largest exhibition, the 14th annual Travel & Adventure Show was held in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of exhibitors from all around the globe, celebrity keynote speakers, renowned chefs, travel industry insiders and exclusive travel deals in order to inform people, who seek ideas for their next travel excursion.
During the show, Turkey's cultural organization, Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) and Turkish Airlines (THY) represented the country under the auspices of the Washington D.C. Embassy Turkish Culture and Tourism Office.
With high interest on the Turkish organizations' booths, visitors were given extensive information about Turkey's cultural elements and travel deals.
In addition to receiving information about Turkey, visitors also formed a long line to get Turkish coffee and Turkish delights distributed at Turkish stands.
"With the support of Turkey's ministry of culture and tourism, we are here to introduce Turkish culture and to inform visitors about country's tourist destinations through cultural diplomacy," Yunus Emre Institute’s U.S. Director, Halit Bulut told Anadolu Agency.
Adding that the high interest of visitors came as no surprise, Bulut said there are "always" high demand for Turkey and its culture since the country itself is in a great geographical area for tourism.
"They [Americans] want to learn about Turkey from reliable source and that is what we have been doing here as Yunus Emre Institute and ministry of culture and tourism," he added.
The institute provides services abroad to improve friendship between Turkey and other countries and increase cultural exchange.
Since its establishment in 2009, the institute has taught Turkish to nearly 100,000 people in 43 countries.
Named after the 13th century poet Yunus Emre, it now has nearly 54 cultural centers around the world offering artistic, social and scientific programs.