ISTANBUL, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish pet products and services market achieved striking growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people spent longer time with their pets and focused more on pets' needs, an industry insider said Saturday.
"The market achieved 50 percent growth in the last year despite the pandemic-related limitations," Selcuk Cetin, general manager of the National Fair Organization and organizer of pet products and services fair, told Xinhua.
The average annual growth of the sector was around 15 percent before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country in 2020.
According to sector data, one out of every 10 households in Turkey owns a pet. This number has expanded rapidly during the pandemic, as many people acquired a new pet to kill their time with during the lockdowns.
"Our pets are part of the family, so products and services for them are an absolute necessity," Cetin noted.
Pet services are especially booming and more diverse, as people are now significantly more interested in meeting the needs of their pets.
In addition to 5,500 pet stores and 2,000 pet clinics, new animal farms, shelters, and pet hotels have opened and become popular across Turkey.
"The Turkish pet products industry continues to develop by increasing its technology investments, and we now have companies that export to more than 60 countries," Cetin noted.
In his view, the sector created a huge market, prompting numerous new fairs and events.
The International Petzoo Eurasia, the largest and most comprehensive pet products exhibition in Turkey, has recently kicked off in Istanbul, displaying the newest products, such as animal feed, sand, toys, cosmetics and care products, health and cleaning products, pet clothes and services.
The value of the pet products and services industry in the world is estimated at around 300 billion U.S. dollars, and the total volume of Turkey's market is close to 1 billion dollars, according to a press release of the fair.
The fair, which will run until Sunday, also hosts various side events, shows, parades, and competitions, including the Happy Cats race, which lured more than 130 cat breeds.