Istanbul 2020 Bid Inspired By Ranking Fifth Most Visited City
Istanbul's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games got a boost Friday when it was recognized by MasterCard's biannually published Global Destination Index as the fifth most visited city in the world.
The survey compiles figures from 132 cities and reports an expected 116 million foreign visitors to Istanbul in 2012.
Only London, Paris, Bangkok and Singapore have higher projected numbers.
There has been a 20.7 per cent increase in revenue generated by tourists since the last index - the fourth largest increase of all the cities. Much of the revenue is being reinvested into developing infrastructure and accommodation as part of its bid to host the 2020 Games.
Hasan Arat, Istanbul 2020 bid leader, said, "increased income from visitor spend, Istanbul has the fourth 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 fifth 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".
Professor Ugur Erdener, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and head of the NOC of Turkey, said, "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".Write or read comments about this article
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