Istanbul’s First International Shopping Festival to Celebrate 40 Days of Shopping
Aims to stimulate retail sales during the festival period to reach USD10 billion by the centennial of Turkey founding in 2023.
February 18, 2011 11:16 by Rasha Reslan
Under the patronage of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Istanbul Governor’s Office and numerous other agencies, Istanbul’s first International Shopping Festival (ISF) will take place March 18-April 26.
The announcement came during a press conference in Dubai with the presence of ISF brand ambassador, popular Turkish actor, Kivanc Tatlitug.
The forty-day long shopping event is expected to attract millions of bargain hunters from across the globe who will win all kind of prizes, including a brand new car every day during the festival. Tourists will enjoy tax-free shopping as well as heavy discounts on a wide range of items, including jewelry, perfumes, textiles, handicrafts and electronics items as shops and malls try to outdo each other in sales. The İSF is also known for its colorful events ranging from music to street performances offering wholesome family entertainment.
Mr. Sedat Gönüllüoğlu, The Turkish Cultural & Tourism Attaché, said: “Istanbul is gearing to have yet another mega tourist event and for 40 days and 40 nights, the first annual Istanbul Shopping Fest will transform the cosmopolitan city into a shopping heaven. The campaign for the annual Shopping Festival is kick-started today by the Turkish tourism minister, governor and the mayor of Istanbul and the leaders of major business organizations. The event is set to attract millions of shoppers from surrounding countries who can visit Turkey without a visa.”
“Istanbul attracts more than 700 thousand tourists from the Gulf countries at this time every year and we hope to attract more than 1.2 million tourists from the region during this year’s festival. Our aim is to stimulate retail sales during the festival period to reach USD10 billion by the centennial of Turkey founding in 2023”, said Mr. Gönüllüoğlu.
“Organizers have been planning for the İSF for a long time to ensure its success. Our objective is to increase shopping lovers every year, making the Istanbul Shopping Festival a premium shopping event worldwide. The 2011 Istanbul Shopping Festival is expected to give much needed boost to Istanbul tourism industry and the retail sector,” he added.
Istanbul has rapidly emerged as the tourist capital of the world and a very busy shopping destination for the surrounding countries. With a population of 14 million people, Istanbul has over 90 brand new shopping centers and many street venues. Topping all that, the city has the world’s biggest and oldest shopping center, The Grand Bazaar, infamous for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops.
During İSF, shopping outlets will be open until 11 pm with special discounts, up to 50 per cent, offered after 10 pm, as well as price reductions and activities at some of Istanbul’s most famous markets, including Taksim, Nisantasi, Bakirkoy, Fatih, Bahariye, and the iconic Spice Bazaar.
Besides the shopping, a number of entertaining and colorful events, for children and adults, will take place at İSF. Visitors can participate with their families in all kind of shows, arranged by the city and its people. Dining is also a major attraction of İSF visitors, where gourmet food can satisfy their taste buds from delicious Turkish cuisine and from all corners of the world.
Turkish Airlines is a major supporter of İSF and will offer visitors special fares and will consider increasing travelers’ baggage allowance during the festival.
“The İSF is set to be a celebration for shopping lovers to visit Istanbul– a city that has been a top choice for shoppers for more than 1,500 years. From hip boutiques in trendy neighborhoods and colorful bazaars and markets to over 90 modern malls featuring top designers, travelers and locals can expect a diverse shopping experience when perusing Istanbul’s wares. Famous for its handmade rugs, clothing, antiques, spices, sweets, footwear and accessories, visitors to Istanbul rarely walk away empty-handed,” concluded Mr. Gönüllüoğlu.