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City of the World’s Desire: 30.1% increase in tourist revenue makes Istanbul the fastest growing tourist destination in the world

July 13, 2011Article by Ray Withers

Undoubtedly one of the world´s greatest cities, Istanbul has seen a 30.1% increase in tourist revenue, generating an estimated $10.2 billion in 2011, surpassing New York and Amsterdam in terms of the number of visitors according to a city index developed by MasterCard Worldwide.

Estimates from the city index suggest that Istanbul will receive a predicted 9.4 million visitors in 2011 proving more attractive than traditionally popular global cities such as Rome, Milan and New York.

Dubbed ‘one of the hippest cities in the world’, it seems visitors are undoubtedly attracted to this impressive accolade. With a rich cultural background, abundance of amenities and rising economic wealth, Istanbul is propelling Turkey forward with the country’s economy growing by 11% in the first quarter of 2011 according to figures published by the Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkstat.

As a whole, Turkey’s income per capita has almost doubled since 2002 and as a result, has generated a boom in consumer spending, seeing a rise in the shopping mall culture, proliferating across the country almost as much as in the US as well as trendy restaurants, bars and clubs lining the streets becoming even more prevalent than the widespread Ottoman mosques.

Indeed, with more money to play with, consumers, in particular the middles classes have begun to travel a great deal more aided by the growth of national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines. However one of the biggest emergences to have come out of rising consumer wealth has been the increased demand for property with more people buying new homes.

Rising demand led to Turkey’s construction sector displaying an impressive 17.1% growth in 2010 over the previous year. This sector has been driving economic growth in the economy over the past few years, seeing improved technology utilised and stronger financial structures helping construction companies to deliver property projects at a faster rate.

Back in May this year, PricewaterhouseCoopers Emerging Trends in European Real Estate report which surveyed worldwide investors found that Istanbul is currently considered along with Munich, to be the best city in Europe for investment opportunities in the areas of new developments and acquisitions, and second best for opportunities to increase returns on existing investments.

Ray Withers, Director of property investment experts, Property Frontiers, comments,

“The Turkish property industry is receiving considerable interest from foreign investors seeking to purchase property in popular cities like Istanbul due to the ongoing growth in the economy and rising tourist numbers, pushing up demand for property and generating vast opportunities in the already thriving rental market.

“Istanbul, considered to be the dominant powerhouse in Turkey is fast becoming a popular destination for Europe’s glitterati as well as a thriving business hub with new residential developments emerging in up and coming areas on the desirable European side of Istanbul such as Bahcesehir and Beylikduzu as well as the city centre. Modern Istanbul properties offer exceptional facilities and a cheaper price tag than the rest of Europe, making the city even more attractive to potential buy to let investors.”

Confirming the strength of demand, statistics from leading overseas property search portal The Move Channel show that at least 1 in 5 Turkey property searches are for Istanbul.  Of these enquires, around 60% are for properties priced between £0 – £100,000 while 35% enquiries are priced between £100 – £200,000.

For more information about exciting new buy to let investment opportunities available in Istanbul contact the experts Property Frontiers today on +44 (0) 1865 202 700.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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