In the first half of the nineteenth century, the number of travellers to Istanbul increased in relation to developments in international trade, transportation, and communication. Despite the consensus among many historians that facilities were very poor before the 1840s and that the first modern hotels were established afterwards, contemporary sources present a different picture. A new culture of accommodation for travellers flourished from the late 1810s onwards in the Pera district of the city. This paper investigates the emergence of hosting as a business in Istanbul in the context of the economic history of the region. During a time of increasing international trade, hosting was considered as a prime business opportunity by entrepreneurs.