CEO’S DISCUSS THE BUSINESS OUTLOOK FOR CENTRAL ASIA AND TURKEY AT CATHIC CONFERENCE IN ISTANBUL
Central Asia & Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) February 6 -8 2012, Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey February 2012: Christoph Härle, CEO Continental Europe for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels asks four industry leaders for their views on the region's business prospects.
Picture Caption: From left Christoph Härle of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Hamdi Akin of Akfen Holding, Eric Danziger of Wyndham Hotel Group, Denis Hennequin of Accor and Kurt Ritter of The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group debating Turkey's macro-economics at CATHIC 2012.
What is the outlook for the hotel sector in general, and for Central Asia and Turkey in particular?
Kurt Ritter of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said "We all feel pressure at this time, but we still work in one of the best industries. People are travelling more and more and this is a growing sector. I am confident for the future of our industry".
Denis Hennequin of Accor said: "I share Kurt's optimism, though different parts of the world are experiencing different challenges and opportunities. Each region has different problems too, so one size does not fit all. Brazil and Turkey are both very strong at present, and even Europe, I see is not all bad news - the debt isn't in the private sector any more. As Warren Buffet said: 'When the tide goes down, you can see who is swimming naked' - and we are not naked".
Eric Danziger of Wyndham Hotel Group added that people want to travel. "In the business travel sector, while teleconferencing technology may be cheaper, people have discovered that is not always as effective as meeting face to face. And in the leisure sector, demand for recreational travel goes from strength to strength. Turkey is one of the most exciting growth markets for Wyndham Hotels."
Hamdi Akin of Akfen Holding Company added: "The economic crisis is not new, and many economies, such as South Asia, Russia, Turkey, Iran, all of Africa and Latin America are hungry for growth - and we will see growth in these areas. On the other hand, other areas don't need growth - they are already developed."
Akin also pointed out that there are 20 cities in Turkey with a population of over 1 million. "It is not just about Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, other cities will boom and demand is there and they need hotel investment."
Is the traditional hotel industry approach of entering every market with a high end signature brand still relevant or appropriate?
Kurt Ritter: Travellers are spending a lot less these days. We should believe in the mid-market sector as it is the most profitable.
Eric Danziger: There is a danger in putting the wrong brand in the wrong location, for instance if the market can't afford it. If the objective is to be profitable then the mid- and budget sectors have many more opportunities right now.
Hamdi Akin: In Turkey, which has a tradition of travellers staying with family and friends, we need more three star hotels. You can enter a market with a five star property, but we need mid-market prodct for the smaller cities. Certainly we are focussing on three and four star opportunities.
Turkey has a lot of family-run hotels in this mid-market sector, but they do not offer clear standards and don't always meet the travellers' requirements. With branded hotels you feel more confident putting your relatives or friends into a hotel, and we want to expand these recognised hotel brands.
Dennis Hennequin: Growth of three star hotels comes with the growth of the middle class.
An exhibition of sponsors runs alongside the conference, with more stands than the inaugural event in 2011. Sponsors for this year's event are: Platinum sponsors: BDO, Corinthia Hotels, Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International, Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT), Marmara Collection, Wyndham Hotel Group. Gold sponsors: Accor Hospitality, AECOM Design + Planning, Argentina National Institute of Tourism Promotion, Best Western International, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Horwath HTL, Hyatt International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Jumeirah Group, Marriott International, Inc, Orient-Express Hotels, Premier Inn, Rixos Hotels, Servotel Corporation, T&T Consulting, WATG.
The Central Asia & Turkey Hotel Investment Conference will run from February 6 -8, 2012 at Ceylan Intercontinental, Istanbul and is organised by Bench Events and Questex Media. Details can be found on www.cathic.com
Media partners The Business Year, Destinations of the World News, Europaproperty, Gayrimenkul Turkiye, Global Hotel Network.com, Hotel Analyst, Hotel Management, Hsyndicate, Hurriyet Daily Travel News, Istanbul Deluxe, Oxford Business Group, Sleeper Magazine
Supporters International Tourism Partner (ITP), EHL, World Tourism & Travel Council (WTTC), Cornell School of Hotel Administration, Turkish Investors Association (TYD), EMITT
Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) - February 6th - 8th 2012, Ceylan Intercontinental, Istanbul. To register to attend this event, and for details of the conference programme, please visit www.cathic.com
CATHIC is co-organised by Bench Events and Questex Media, who also organise the Russia and CIS Hotel Investment Conference, Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, International Hotel Investment Forum Asia Pacific and the International Hotel Investment Forum Berlin.
About Bench Events
Bench Events has a long track record in hosting the premier hotel investment events in Europe and the Middle East. Bench Events’ Chairman, Jonathan Worsley, is one of the organisers and founders of the highly successful International Hotel Investment Forum now in its fifteenth year (www.berlinconference.com). In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai (www.arabianconference.com); in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (www.russia-cisconference.com) and in 2011 launched the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (www.cathic.com) and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Morocco (www.africa-conference.com). www.benchevents.com
About Questex Hospitality + Travel
Questex Hospitality + Travel drives demand for travel and hospitality organizations as the largest multimedia organization in the world dedicated to these related industries. It includes a dynamic collection of strategic investment and deal-making forums as well as tactical services such as powerful lead generation tools, interactive online business solutions, world-class events and industry-leading publications to help hospitality and travel organizations drive revenue, productivity and value creation. Questex Hospitality + Travel operates throughout the United States and Americas regions, EMEA and Asia/Pacific through a variety of market-leading properties and services including International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) Berlin, North America Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference, International Hotel Investment Forum Asia Pacific, Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference, Central Asia & Turkey Hotel Investment Conference, HOTEC Design and HOTEC Operations & Technology; lead generation portal HotelManagement.net; industry news delivery services in print, online and mobile worldwide via IHIF: Hotel Investment News along with Hotel Management magazines.