According to economists, developers and, more importantly, investors, “growth” is no longer a word that is owned exclusively by the up and coming, though well-documented BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations.
With tourist numbers rising, blue chip businesses moving in, and large hotel developments sucking in all the newly acquired people traffic, Turkey appears to be establishing itself among the emerging economy elite.
And at the centre of this climb is the engine-room of Istanbul, where one local airport reported a 27.3% rise in passengers in January, and a large science and technology park is currently being developed.
For Turkey and Istanbul, “growth” is very much the in phrase at the moment, with Istanbul alone proving it can attract large business numbers – and today it is one of the key business conference locations in the world. Below are five other words connected to Istanbul, helping the city to get the recognition is deserves in what is still a tricky global property market.
According to a Colliers International Real Estate review last year, although Turkey suffered in the downturn, the impact it sustained looked more like a ‘V’ than a ‘U’, and this strong bounce back of the 15th largest economy in the world has taken Istanbul along with it.
It’s not just the Teknopark Istanbul that epitomises ‘development’ in Istanbul at the moment, although with the science park tipped to be among the biggest in The Middle East and Eastern Europe, it is a large factor. However, the busy Sabiha Gokcen Airport also has plans to develop a new runway by 2012 to cope with demand, and an upsurge of hotel buildings in the city are other clear signs of development.
US car giant Ford and drinks firm Coca-Cola already have a base in Istanbul, though they are not alone. Turkey has become a bit of a magnet for large corporates, which has been to the benefit of cities like Istanbul. In fact, the city has become one of the most popular venues for business conferences in the world, and the growth in the number of offices being built in the city would satisfy the pessimistic investor. This naturally brings in the wealthy corporate traveller, which of course sends positive ripples throughout the city.
Think what you like about the City of Culture award, but for many it has strong ties with prosperity, investment and long-term growth. In 2010 Istanbul was labelled with the title, and has been benefiting from the boost in good public relations ever since. The money that can be collected from being able to market a ‘City of Culture’ can be astonishing. Liverpool reportedly benefited by around £800m.
Just as Istanbul has managed to attract the business traveller, this only half of the incoming traffic puzzle, as for long-term prosperity the tourist is essential as well. Tourism rates in Istanbul have been rising steadily for the past decade, and the level of development and airport expansion currently taking place would suggest that this is showing little sign of weakening. The City of Culture award has helped, and so too has opening one of the most diverse shopping outlets in the world, ViaPort.
Nothing is ever certain in global property, and despite such positive press for Turkey and the BRIC economies, no-one can predict the future with absolute accuracy. However, with such a surge in incoming traffic and a clear boost in demand for office and hotel space, it would be equally hard to bet against these strong emerging nations.