The alluring Turkish city, Istanbul which straddles two major continents, Asia and Europe boasts of a rich historical past during which it functioned as the epicenter of three important global empires namely the Roman, the Christian Byzantine, and the Islamic Ottoman. Today Istanbul, which has always been a vital destination on international land and sea trade routes due to its strategic location, is the largest city and the economic heart of Turkey that generates more than half of the country’s trade and contributes approximately 23% to its Gross National Product.
Istanbul is a bustling city which is home to over 10 million people, is the industrial heart of Turkey as the city and its surrounding regions produce a whole host of products like fruit, olive oil, tobacco, cotton, textiles, oil products, rubber, metal ware, chemicals, leather goods, pharmaceuticals, glassware, machinery, electronics, paper products, and alcoholic beverages which are both consumed domestically as well as exported through its port. It is estimated that the industrial units in and around Istanbul employ approximately 20% of all of Turkey’s industrial labor and make up 38% of Turkey's industrial workspace.
Aside from being a vibrant industrial hub, Istanbul is the important financial center of Turkey as it is home to the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) which is the only securities market in Turkey. The ISE was originally established as the Ottoman Stock Exchange (Dersaadet Tahvilat Borsasi) in1866 and it was only reorganized into its present day form in the late 1980’s. During the years of the Ottoman empire, Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street) in Galata which was home to the Ottoman central bank and the Ottoman Stock Exchange functioned as the main financial district of Istanbul however today the city’s business and financial matters are conducted within its two main financial sectors, namely the central business districts of Levent and Maslak which host the Istanbul Stock Exchange as well as gleaming skyscrapers that house the headquarters of all the Turkish private banks and 21% of the total bank branches in Turkey. Apart from these domestic institutions, these central business districts are also home to the outposts of several international banking organizations like Citibank, JP Morgan, ING, Banca di Roma, Deutsche Bank, and Commerzbank.
In addition to functioning as business and commerce hub, Istanbul is also a well-established tourist destination. In fact, tourism is one of the most important and strongest industries in this city which boasts of countless cultural attractions like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and many museums and bazaars. Tourism records indicate that Turkey and its cultural hotspot, Istanbul welcomed more than 30 million tourists in 2008 as the country’s tourism industry earned an incredible $17.5 billion in revenue during the said year. Istanbul’s position as a favored tourist hotspot has also enabled it to become a popular destination for trade fairs and conventions which are hosted at various venues all over the city like the CNR expo centre, which is the biggest Trade Fair Center of Eurasia and The Istanbul Convention & Exhibition Centre (ICEC) which hosts several congresses and exhibitions each year.
Accordingly, Istanbul is equipped with numerous hotels which cater both to visiting professionals as well as vacationers who arrive in this fascinating city by passing through one of its two international airports, the Ataturk or the Sabiha Gokcen or even through its seaport.
Some of the most popular hotels in Istanbul include home-grown boutique establishments like The Witt Istanbul Suites and the Sumahan Hotel and the outlets of leading hotel chains like the Çiragan Palace Kempinski which is famous for its gorgeous pool that overlooks the Bosphorus, the Ritz Carlton, The Conrad and the Four Seasons.
Apart from these hotels, which are well equipped to cater to the business traveler’s every need, Istanbul also hosts a lively dining and nightlife scene which is characterized by several top notch restaurants like 360 Istanbul which offers rooftop dining, Les Ambassadeurs which is renowned for its many exquisite fish preparations and Spice Market, which is renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Istanbul’s outpost and is located within the Istanbul W hotel. Along with these restaurants, several Istanbul nightclubs like Reina and Angelique also offer business travelers a place to unwind and relax after a long day of meetings and seminars. For those business travelers who enjoy combining work trips with pleasure, Istanbul also offers myriad sight-seeing and walking tours which include visits to the city’s many historic and cultural attractions as they also take in its unique humans or traditional Turkish bathhouses which offer rejuvenating soaks and therapeutic massages.
If your business necessitates frequent travel to this enchanting city which is situated at the cusp of two continents, you might want to consider using the services of the New York City based travel management company, Fare Buzz for all your trips. Fare Buzz is a leading supplier of cheap business class flights. Through its contracts with over sixty domestic and international airlines, Fare Buzz is able to procure cheap business class air fares to nearly every global destination. You can actually expect to have savings of nearly 70% when you book your company’s business class travel through Fare Buzz instead of regular channels. Moreover, the travel desk at Fare Buzz is manned by knowledgeable and experienced personnel who are on hand seven days a week to help you with all the travel planning necessary for your trip to Istanbul. So next time you need to head off on a business trip to the city on the Bosphorus, does make sure that you give Fare Buzz a call at 1-800-847-1963 to procure the most competitive and affordable business class deal for your journey.