Istanbul 2020’s pledge to provide luxurious and affordable accommodation for Olympic family and spectators in 2020 has been enhanced with the news that one of the bid’s proposed state-of-the-art, 5-star hotels - The Raffles – will open later this year.
Istanbul 2020’s plans for accommodation were revealed on Day 3 of the IOC Evaluation Commission visit – which follows Tourism Ministry’s new statistics that the number of foreign visitors to Turkey rose 12.54 percent year-on-year to 1.1 million people in January 2013 after 31.78 million people visited the country in 2012.
Feza Solaklar, Head of Accommodation for Istanbul 2020, addressed how Istanbul is already accommodating its ever-increasing number of visitors:
“Every year, more and more people are being attracted to this place, making Istanbul the third most visited city in Europe after London and Paris, and the fifth most visited city in the world. With over 9 million guests in 2012, the number of visitors to our city has increased by 16%, and visitor spending has increased 21% over the previous year.
“We have thoroughly researched and explored all accommodation options in the city, to make our guests’ stay convenient and affordable. We are ready and we look forward to the opportunity to host the entire Olympic and Paralympic Family in our beautiful and exciting city in 2020.”
Istanbul has a current inventory of 55,229 hotel rooms. These will be supplemented by further new hotel developments and other programmes to ensure that the city will meet its pledge to deliver over 100,000 rooms in time for the Games in 2020 – of which only a third will actually be needed during the Games.
Istanbul 2020 bid leader, Hasan Arat commented on what the new Raffles Hotel will bring to Istanbul:
“The Raffles Hotel is just the latest in a magnificent array of hotels which are all set within the iconic, cinematic backdrop of Istanbul. The Olympic family and visitors to the Istanbul 2020 Games are assured an unforgettable stay at our highly experienced hotels while enjoying the legendary Turkish hospitality to enhance their Games-time experience. The hotels are ideally situated to ensure easy access to our competition venues which, for the first time in history, will be located on two continents - Asia and Europe.”
Ugur Erdener, IOC member and President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, said: “As the fifth most visited destination in the world, Istanbul is used to hosting the vast number of visitors each year who come to experience the city where Europe meets Asia, where East meets West and where cultures come together in harmony to create a truly unique experience. I have no doubt that the first ever Games to be held on two continents would attract a record number of guests – and with this news, the Olympic family, and fans, can be confident that they will be catered for. Istanbul is now ready to deliver.”
The new Raffles Hotel will join a host of luxury accommodation already available in Istanbul, including The Istanbul EDITION, The Ritz-Carlton, and Four Seasons Istanbul, ensuring that key Olympic family and guests will benefit from a luxurious stay and easy access to Istanbul 2020’s venues.