Many, if not most people will be shocked to learn that a survey has just found that Istanbul is the number one destination in the world for weddings, which is a massive boost to the economy of the city.
The survey conducted by a Turkish website that provides information to couples who will be getting married soon found that in the first 11 months of 2011 Istanbul saw a total of 166,000 receptions compared with the 114,000 in Las Vegas (Nevada, USA).
There are a reported 600,000 couples who get married every year in Turkey, with an average age of 24 for women and 27 for men. The report also contained detailed figures as to the economics of the burgeoning trade, it said that 240 guest on average were invited to the weddings at an average cost of 25,000 TRY (approx 10,500 euros), bringing a total turnover of 30 million lira per year.
Those raking in the most of the wedding funds include wedding attire shops, jewellery stores and hotels. According to the report theme based shopping centres serve 150,000 wedding-goers per year, including those from the Middle East, the Balkans, and Greece, while 65% of the jewellery sector’s 2.5 billion lira turnover is concentrated in Istanbul.
One hotel manager told the survey that 40% of the couples coming to the city to get married on the Bosporus are foreigners, with most coming from Greece, Lebanon, North America, Russia and Azerbajan, but some are also from other parts of Europe. Last November, Istanbul played host to the World Marriage Fair 2011, which saw 200 companies from around the world, including wedding attire sellers, jewellery stands and other connected trades being plied.