Horticultural Expo 2016 drew to a close yesterday in the city of Antalya, Turkey. The A1 category International Horticultural Exhibition, which was organised under the theme 'Flowers and Children', welcomed over 4.5 million visitors.
The closing ceremony in the Expo Congress Centre was notably attended by the Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Faruk Çelik, the President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Steen Christensen, and the President of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), Bernard Oosterom.
During its six-month run, visitors to Expo 2016 were drawn to the themed and the international gardens, as well as to the Urban Best Practices Area, which showcased 38 innovative solutions to modern-day problems in the area of agriculture, sustainability and environmental management. Education was mixed with entertainment as a multitude of cultural events were organised throughout the duration of the Expo, including art exhibitions, national day celebrations and shows by top international performers. Furthermore, the Expo hosted numerous conferences and seminars, including a forum held on 21 October in collaboration with cultural diplomacy organisation Liberatum.
Now that the Expo has closed, the site will be transformed into a public park to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. This ensures that the legacy of the Expo will live on; visitors will continue to visit the gardens, and Antalya will continue to benefit from the infrastructure and facilities developed for the Expo. The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, stated that “Expos go down in history for the experiences they have created and for their physical legacy. The gardens created for Expo 2016 will be enjoyed by the people of Antalya for generations to come.”
The President of the General Assembly of the BIE, Steen Christensen, addressed attendees at the closing ceremony, congratulating the Turkish Government and the organisers on hosting a wonderful Expo. Mr Christensen also thanked the volunteers and the people of Antalya for contributing to the success, adding that “even in difficult times, Antalya – and Turkey – continued to welcome the world, embodying the Expo spirit which emphasises hospitality, cooperation and dialogue.”
Expo 2016 was organised under the joint auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), which held its annual conference at the Expo earlier in October. The next International Horticultural Expo will take place in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China in 2019, under the theme ‘Live Green, Live Better’. The Vice-Mayor of Beijing, Cheng Hong, was present at the ceremony in order to receive the BIE flag.