Atatürk Airport closure to hit $4 billion hotel investments nearby: Association
The closure of Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport will likely hit 62 nearby hotels, which are valued at a $4 billion investment, a leading association has warned.
Last year, the total added value for these hotels was around 500 million euros, by creating 50,000 jobs with 230.4 million euro annual revenue, the Hotels Association of Turkey (TÜROB) said in a statement on June 21.
In light of the severe impact with the approaching gradual closure of the airport, the association has recommended keeping it open, as Istanbul’s future population and tourism traffic will likely require a new airport in the future.
Operations at Atatürk Airport will begin moving to the new Istanbul airport by Oct. 29. The airport will be large enough for 114 planes to dock at the same time and will employ 225,000 people when fully operational.
Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport is among Europe’s five busiest airports, along with Istanbul’s second airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian side, recovering in 2017 from a downturn in passenger traffic the previous year.
The government will build a large garden called the “People’s Garden” in the area of the current Atatürk Airport, upon completion of the new airport north of Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recently stated.
TÜROB President Timur Bayındır said there was no question on whether the third airport was needed.
“On one hand, Istanbul can have three airports. There are six active airports in London or Moscow. Why does Istanbul not have three airports?” he said, adding that a fair and exhibition zone could be built within the planned urban park area to keep the region commercially viable.
Bayındır also voiced criticism on the poor investment planning regarding the sector.
“Only between 2012 and 2015, many hotel projects were realized near Atatürk Airport. The investment value of these projects was worth over $4 billion. As sector players, we should definitely reflect on this,” he said.
“If these investments have been made, we now have to create solutions to not leave them inactive,” Bayındır added.