Istanbul Sees Meteoric Rise As International Convention Destination
Istanbul’s status as a global meetings and events destination has seen a stellar rise in the past decade, with convention visitor numbers increasing more than eightfold and new infrastructure projects boosting the city’s conference capacity to more than 30,000 delegates.
According to a recent survey by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Istanbul was the 15th most important destination for hosting global meetings in 2008, up from the 40th place in 2000. The study covers meetings organized by international associations that take place on a regular basis and which rotate between a minimum of three countries.
Last year, Istanbul opened its doors to 72 such conventions, more than four times as many as a decade earlier.
Figures from the Istanbul Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB) show that in a span of ten years, the number of participants attending international conferences rose from 9,987 to 83,043, not taking into consideration one-off events or conferences that do not move between different locations. In 2009, such mega-events as the 5th World Water Forum, with 25,000 delegates, and the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, hosting 15,000 participants, took place in Istanbul.
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