Posted on 22 June 2011
For anyone that doesn’t know, Christiano Ronaldo is currently holidaying in Turkey as a guest of Besiktas chairman Yıldırım Demiroren. Ronaldo, formerly of Manchester United and now playing for Real Madrid is one of the most prominent football players of our time, and the fact that an Istanbul district club can even consider signing him in a deal that could be worth as much as £80 million or more (Real Madrid paid £80m in the signing from Manchester United), is yet another testament to the growing affluence of Istanbul and Turkey.
Ronaldo’s Turkish holiday can only be a good thing as far as we are concerned, because it is highlighting the fantastic tourism experience that can be found in Turkey.
Ronaldo and his girlfriend, famous Russian model Irina Shayk, landed at İstanbul Atatürk Airport early Saturday and were transferred to their hotel (Çırağan Kempisnki) by helicopter. After a day enjoying Istanbul (and causing overcrowded streets at a mall opening) the pair were taken today to Bodrum in Demiroren’s private jet, and are currently enjoying what’s called a blue cruise on a yacht in the Mediteranean.
Turkish tourism continued to growth during the recent crisis, the 28.6 million visitors received in 2010 an increase of about 5.7% on the previous year (Ministry of Tourism data via Wikipedia).
The consensus of opinion is that with the UK economy now precariously recovering, along with the rest of Europe, and a particularly strong recovery in Germany — Turkey’s largest tourism market –, Turkish tourism will see even greater growth this year. The potential for Turkey to receive the milestone of 30 million visitors, and high profile guests like Christiano Ronaldo and Irina Shayk can only help to that end.