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“The football industry can be a beacon of hope for the tourism sector”
“The football industry can be a beacon of hope for the tourism sector”

At the World Tourism Forum held in recent weeks, it was announced that the tourism sector, which was severely affected by the pandemic, is preparing to close this year with a loss of $3 trillion. While the summer tourism season did not give hope, investors suggested turning the rising sports tourism between November and March into an opportunity in order to reduce the economic loss.

*** This release is originally published in Turkish.
Google Translate Application translates the content you see on this page.***

ISTANBUL (TR) - The coronavirus pandemic, which has deeply shaken the global economy, negatively affected many sectors around the world, while tourism was the first of them. The latest status of the tourism sector was discussed at the World Tourism Forum, which was held online from 27 to 29 November 2020. 175 guests from 30 different countries and more than 500 thousand viewers attended the forum where the world tourism sector is preparing to close 2020 with a loss of 3 trillion dollars was announced. Speaking at the forum, Omar Imtiaz, Chairman of Istanbul-based British and Pakistani investment company Imtiaz Holding, pointed out that sports investments can help heal the wounds of tourism.

Fans in England spend an average of 8,600 TL on match days

Omar Imtiaz, who has been a shareholder of Ligue1 French football club OGC Nice in recent years, said: “Sport and tourism are linked and always go hand in hand. As a matter of fact, the top 20 football clubs in the world earned an income of 9 billion euros last year, and about 16% of this was earned from match days. Thus, it contributed directly to the cities hosting the matches. For example in the English Premier League, there was 5.7 billion liras (£550 million) in revenue from fans coming to football matches last year, with an average of 8,600 liras (£820) spent per person.”

Football clubs in Istanbul could be the lifeblood of Turkish sports tourism

Stating that clubs of some of cities with international reputation, like Istanbul, will be effective to revive tourism activities in Turkey, Imtiaz said, “Especially the November-March period outside the tourism season is very important for attracting international sports tourism, that is, football fans. Because the fans prefer to stay a few more days to explore the city while coming to the match. They not only watch the match, but also visit the stadium and participate in city tours. At the same time, the food and beverage sector takes its share from the match days.”

Imtiaz Holding lean towards Turkish clubs

Statement about how investors can evaluate sports clubs based on his experiences in his investments in Nice Football Club, Omar Imtiaz said, “One of the most important criteria when investing in a sports club is having a strong fan base. The parties are followed by points that have the potential to generate more income such as real estate, accommodation, food and beverage and commercial opportunities. All this is reflected in the field. As a matter of fact, we managed to leave the club with a much higher value three years later with the work we did for Nice. Maybe one day, it may be possible to make similar investments in a Turkish club.”

Contact: Tülay Genç | [email protected] | +31 30 799 6022

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