Strong tourism and FDI signal promising 2015 for Turkey

The first half of 2015 has fuelled international confidence in Turkey with its popularity growing on two fronts, namely as a tourist destination and a centre for foreign investment, according to reports out in May.

The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) said last month it expects an influx of at least 42 million foreign visitors this year, generating the country $36billion. Tourism in Turkey, the sixth most popular destination in the world, had already grown by three per cent by May, with a noticeable rise in visitors during the winter.

“This is good news for property investors in Turkey,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “More visitors from abroad mean a stronger rental market, as well as increased interest in the country’s real estate market and ultimately stability in property prices. Istanbul, in particular, continues to attract all types of international tourists – little wonder it was TripAdvisor’s top destination for 2014.”

Meanwhile, according to an index by leading global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, confidence in Turkey amongst foreign investors has grown over the last year. Turkey rose two places to 22nd in the 2015 edition of the A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, which is based on the views of top executives from the world’s leading corporations. This puts the country ahead of Poland, Norway, and Finland.

As a sign of confidence, A.T. Kearney noted Turkey’s hosting of the G20 and B20 conferences in the southern city of antalya“>Antalya later this year, an event which will enable the country to showcase itself on the world stage. Turkey officially took over the presidency of the G20 from Australia in December 2014.

Also highlighted was Turkey’s aim of becoming one of the top ten economies in the world by 2023, the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic, as well as the country’s ambitious growth plans to attract FDI to higher value-added industries.

And as a further boost, Istanbul has been recognised as one of the world’s rapidly improving financial centres by international property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). In the recent ‘Business of Cities 2015’ study by JLL, Istanbul is ranked at the top of the five fast-improving cities.

The JLL reported Istanbul’s ongoing improvement in a number of areas. It stated: “Istanbul is the most consistently improved city over the recent timeframe. In particular, it has cemented its status as a diversified onshore provider of financial services, and has regularly overtaken medium-sized established cities, owing to its scale and gateway functions.”

JLL Turkey head Avi Alkas added: “These results indicate how the cities’ ranking in the index can change depending on their performance. Improving standards, changes in perception, availability of new information, and formation of business partnerships all play a role”.

The icing on the cake is the forecast for Turkey’s economy: as part of its Spring Economic Forecast, the European Commission predicted that Turkey would register a 0.3 per cent increase in GDP this year, placing it ahead of 24 EU member states, with an additional 0.5 per cent growth in GDP next year, taking figures to 3.7 per cent for 2016.