Increase in Tourism Boosts Turkey’s 2020 Bid

By Community | October 4, 2012

Turkey’s 2020 bid has received a boost following a report showing the number of foreign visitors to Turkey has risen in the first eight months of 2012 to 22 million – an increase of more than half a million visitors in the same period in 2011.

According to figures released by Turkey’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Turkey is rated as one of the top ten most visited countries in the world and Istanbul is the fifth most visited destination with more than 11 million foreign visitors expected this year.

Hasan Arat, Chairman of Istanbul 2020 said: “These figures highlight that more and more tourists are being attracted to Turkey’s vibrant culture, rich history, hospitable people and spectacular location which bridges Europe and Asia.

“Turkey’s tourist infrastructure has grown significantly, increasing by 67 per cent in the last ten years. By 2015 Turkey’s hotels will offer 370,000 rooms for a wide variety of budgets – and this diversity of hotel accommodation is replicated in Istanbul. This is one of the great strengths of our bid, which will be demonstrated in our candidature file next year.”

Ugur Erdener, IOC member and President of the Turkish NOC said: “This year Turkey is hosting several prestigious international sports events which, together with the increase in international visitors, contribute to the real momentum behind Turkeys bid to host its first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. However, we recognize there is a significant amount of work still to do, and our team of national and international experts is focussed on delivering a unique and innovative blueprint for the Games with our Candidature File which will be submitted to the IOC Executive Board early in 2013.”