It would be tough to find too many areas on earth that haven’t felt the ripples of a tricky economic downturn, however as any decent economist will tell you, it’s the countries and industries that bounce back the quickest and the strongest that provide the best investment opportunities.

Turkey was recently placed into the same bracket as the improving economies of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), with Istanbul, City of Culture for 2010, leading the charge. Where Istanbul is concerned, a bright light is currently shining on the property industry and, notably, the option to invest in hotel rooms.

Hotel rooms provide a buy to let-type investment, with a management company overseeing the letting of the bought hotel unit for the investor. With 2010 showing occupancy of these units back to their pre-recession best of around 71.8% (STR Global) in what is still an under-supplied market, this is a simple case of demand outweighing supply. As the economic recovery continues, and Istanbul gains more strength in the property market, the average rate per stay will also grow.

More encouragement for hotel room investors can be found in the fact that the ‘supply’ is showing no signs of falling away, with the Invest in Turkey website reporting that Istanbul is now a “magnet of tourism investments” with hotels being developed at a fast rate to cope with the “booming tourism and rising visitor numbers”.

But it’s not just tourists pouring into the City of Culture, much to the delight of potential property investors, because Istanbul also has a firm grasp on industry too, which means that serviced offices and top class accommodation is also in high demand. In fact, the Colliers 2010 report on Istanbul confirmed that “the growing demand for class ‘A’ office space on the Asia side of Istanbul has led to increased demand for serviced offices as well as 5 star hotel accommodation for international business clients attending meetings”.

And nowhere else stands for industry and economic growth more than the science and technology park, Teknopark Istanbul, currently under-development. When built, the Teknopark Istanbul will be among the largest technology parks in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Less than three kilometers to this enormous bastion of economic growth is the stand-out investment option for property investors, The Elite Palace offering luxurious hotel rooms set among six luxury A+ restaurants and cafes across the lobby floor, a business centre, health and wellness centre, as well as apartments ranging from one-bed to three-bed. Istanbul Property Investment is within three kilometers of the busy Sabiah Göçkcen Airport (on the Asian side), which, according to STR Global, has even installed a new terminal to cope with the recent upsurge in demand and future passenger numbers.

Also in close proximity is Europe’s largest outlet shopping centre, The Via/Port, which offers top brand shopping, as well as amusement parks that offer the opportunity to entertain younger members of the family. The future for Istanbul is bright. Economically, development of the Sabiah Göçkcen Airport and the completion of the Teknopark Istanbul, indicates steady and sustainable growth for the years and decades ahead, while the rising number of tourists and business people pouring in proves that there is a good reason for such rapid growth.

For some, the huge level of investment opportunity in Istanbul might come as a surprise, but far less of a shock is the news that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) ranked this “large city with a young population”, number one for development.

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