Turkey is fast becoming one of the world’s hottest travel destinations. The Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism was named Europe's Leading Tourist Board at the World Travel Awards 2012, and İstanbul was ranked the world's fifth most popular tourist destination in a recent report by MasterCard. In 2011, 31.5 million foreign tourists visited Turkey, and millions more are forecast for next year. (The country’s goal is to host 50 million tourists a year by 2023.)
To satisfy the future demand, a slew of new luxury hotels are opening (including Shangri-La and Raffles), and the Turkish government has announced plans for a third airport. Currently, Atatürk Airport has reached its capacity of 34 million passengers. Expected to cost $5.6 billion, the proposed new airport would handle 90 million passengers after its first construction phase is completed in 2016, reaching a final capacity of 150 million by 2023.