Hasan Dinc just celebrated his 30th year in the incentive industry and says even with all its ups and downs—especially in Turkey—he doesn’t regret a second of it.
He joined SITE in the 90’s when SITE University met in Istanbul and he took part. He was a member for 10 years, took a break and rejoined three years ago and is now president of the SITE Turkey chapter.
“SITE became a considerable networking platform for me since it is the only association that represents the incentive world. It’s also amazing the concentration of Young Leaders here. It has led me to support my team members to be a part of the organization locally and globally. For instance, one of my junior project managers, Merve Babaoğlu, won the SITE EUROMIC scholarship for Young leaders and took part in IMEX Americas 2019; she is also taking care of all the administrative work for our chapter and is involved in the planning and execution of the SITE Executive Summit in Istanbul this year. Thanks to SITE, I’ve also made so many friendships in this industry, which I’m proud of.”
Hasan says his mentor is Ömür Çağlar, one of the pioneers of the travel industry in Turkey. “He founded his agency in the early '60s, and I was privileged to work for and with him until 1998; a real mentor and a true gentleman who set the entire foundation of my career,” Hasan says. While Hasan was in university, he worked on some travel programs as a freelancer and after graduation continued in the travel industry. “Even though I was an engineering major, I soon realized I could combine the creative with my analytic intelligence.”
One of his most memorable incentive trips was a gala dinner they organized in Ephesus in the early 90’s. “Ephesus was an ancient port city whose well-preserved ruins are in modern-day Turkey. The city was once considered the most famous Greek city and the most important trading center in the Mediterranean region. We were one of the first allowed to organize an event within the Ancient ruins. Unfortunately, we were told last minute that the production company and the catering trucks could not get into the site, which meant that we had to carry all the equipment manually almost three kilometers uphill. In those days we had three wheel bikes with porters in the harbor to take the luggage to and from the cruise ships. I hired 50 porters with the bikes. We all carried the equipment with some fantastic effort, and we managed to still be on time. Despite all the challenges, we delivered a memorable evening for the guests, spectacular performances and sit down dinner “
When he’s off the clock, Hasan likes tennis, kickboxing, and constructing wooden ship models. “As I travel intensively for my business, I enjoy spending time home with the family.”
Hasan has had the opportunity to meet new people—his passion-- with his extensive travel. “ I firmly believe that there is something to learn from each new person you meet. Museums, landmarks, nature, art objects have significant importance, but people are my utmost interest.”
“The Godfather” is Hasan’s favorite movie and his favorite song is “Confusion” from ELO. His favorite band is “Queen” and has been a fan since the age of six. His favorite book is “Little Prince.” And despite a recent weight loss of 50 kilos, he still enjoys a good meal.
If he had the chance to put together an evening meal, he would invite Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Jack Nicholson, Freddie Mercury, Rajeev Kohli and Karim El Minabawy and his father. “I truly wish that I could have met with Atatürk and discuss some topics, as I admire him for all his guidance for our nation. Rajeev and Karim are my twin brothers from different mothers, Jack Nicholson, as I suspect we've a lot in common, and I miss my father since he’s been gone.“
And the best piece of advice you've ever received? "Consider that the person who you are talking with is as clever as you and talk according to this mentality. That’s from my father.”