Istanbul hotel owners jack up prices before IMF, World Bank annual meetings

Many hotels have raised their prices prior to the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, which will be held here between Sept. 30 and Oct. 7, local Daily News reported Friday.

According to the report, hotels currently provide accommodation under what they call “IMF meeting pricing,” which is on average 400 to 900 percent higher than regular prices.

Single rooms cost anywhere between 918 euros (about 1,322 US dollars) and 3,000 euros that week, compared to regular prices that range from 167 euros to 536 euros. (1 euro = 1.44 USD).

istanbul turkey hotelsSome 13,000 people are expected to participate in the event. The tourism agency Visitur, which is responsible for arranging the accommodations for the organizations, said that 6,000 rooms were already reserved in 45 hotels.

The IMF and World Bank will end up footing a bill of 15 million to 20 million euros for the meetings, according to the report.

As Istanbul gets ready for the annual meetings, it seems the metropolitan city may not achieve the high income it was expecting from the event.

Hoteliers and tourism agencies agree that the number of participants may be much lower than expected as very few reservations have been made to date.

Some 20,000 people were initially expected to participate in the annual meetings in Istanbul, a figure that has lately declined to 13,000 as the global economic crisis and the A(H1N1) flu epidemic threaten to keep many potential attendees from making the trip.

So far, only 6,050 people have made reservations at the city’s hotels and 3,650 of those belong to the official committee, according to sector representatives who say that the number of total attendees may not even reach 10,000.

Participants in the event will include commission members, observers, private-sector delegates, academics, members of civilian institutions and journalists from the 185 IMF and World Bank-member countries.

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