POSTED: June 29th 2012
Istanbul 2020: MasterCard Global Destination Index rates strong numbers at 11.6 million tourists in 2012
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
June 29 - MasterCard’s biannually published Global Destination Index has ranked Istanbul at point 5 with an expected 11.6 million foreign visitors to the city this year.
The index takes in information from 132 cities and reports that the top four that ranked higher than Istanbul were London, Paris, Bangkok and Singapore. Istanbul ranked higher the chart after a 20.7% increase in tourism revenue since the last index and much of this is due to the developing infrastructure and accommodation that is ongoing and is part of the Istanbul 2020 campaign offer.
Hasan Arat, the Istanbul 2020 bid leader, said, “Increased income from visitor spend, Istanbul has the 4th biggest increase overall, is another strength for Turkey’s economy - our economic growth is enabling Istanbul to build towards a spectacular 2020 Games. Our ranking as 5th for the number of foreign tourists displays that Istanbul is a city that people from all over the world want to experience.
“We want the 2020 Games to inspire young people from around the world; their desire to come and experience Istanbul reaffirms that it is the ideal city for this to happen.”
The city also recently won the ‘best accommodation’ section of the Sports Business Ultimate Sports Cities awards.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, Professor Uğur Erdener, and head of the NOC of Turkey, noted, “It is no surprise to me that Istanbul has ranked so highly – there is nowhere in the world like it.
“The city’s vibrant culture, rich history, hospitable people and spectacular location bridging Europe and Asia are all reasons tourists are visiting our city now, and why we feel it would make an inspiring host city for the Games in 2020.”
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