Hospitality investors slow to spot opportunity in Turkey and Central Asia
Investors need to better understand the potential of the hospitality sector
● Turkey needs quality mid-market and economy hotels
● Robust Turkish banks called to enter dialogue
● Golf resorts offer significant development potential
ISTANBUL – January 2011: Investors have yet to embrace the investment opportunities presented by the under-developed hospitality sector in the Turkic region, according to the organisers of the upcoming Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC, Istanbul, February 7-9 2011).
Investors need information and education
“Hospitality investment in the region is way behind other industries yet the opportunity is huge, and it is now,” said Jonathan Worsley, Chairman, Bench Events and CATHIC’s co-organiser.
Mehmet Önkal, Managing Partner – Turkey, BDO Hospitality Consulting agreed. He noted that Turkey’s in-bound visitor numbers continue to grow, but real estate development lags behind.
“Tourism is growing in leaps and bounds, up more that 1,000 per cent in two and a half decades, yet the country’s hospitality infrastructure is stuck in yesteryear. There is a real opportunity for home-grown investors but they have yet to grasp just how attractive the return on investment in the hospitality sector is.”
He said that one solution is education and information for investors, banks and financial institutions, suggesting that the upcoming CATHIC forum will help close the gap.
“One figure that may help investors to see the potential in hospitality is that the overall average hotel room rate in Istanbul was €94 in 2005 – and it is €150 today, an increase of more than 50 per cent.”
These sentiments are echoed by Haluk Kaya, President, Bekay Property Partners: “Turkish tourism is growing at a rate of five-six per cent each year, and the city destination of Istanbul is showing 20 per cent growth.”
Quality mid-market hotels are under-represented in Turkey
Kaya noted that an opportunity for three- and four-star hotels throughout Turkey.
“Turkey’s business traveller and tourist profile demands a weighty presence of international mid-tier brands, as opposed to five-star trophy assets. There is a great opportunity for the likes of Accor with Novotel and Ibis or Courtyard by Marriott and others to develop their mid-market brands across Turkey.
He suggested that the home market alone would be enough to stimulate early success for good value-for-money properties flying international flags.
“Domestic hoteliers need to learn from the global operators that a quality three-star property fulfils a significant market need. It is all about putting the right product in the right place, and this is the right time,” Kaya added.
Turkish Banks need to understand the hotel business
Kaya points out that the Turkish financial system has not suffered the blow of global market and while banks may be robust, they are also very conservative.
“Those developers who are looking to develop hotels and related infrastructure are facing difficulty in borrowing because the banks do not know enough about the tourism and hospitality business. I would like to see representatives of the major Turkish banks join us at CATHIC and be part of our conversation on the investment potential in this sector,” he said.
Golf Resorts offer great potential … in the right location
Önkal also believes that resort developments are set to offer great returns, particularly world-class golf resorts. Turkey presently has around 25 courses, mainly in the Antalya region to take advantage of the climate which offers a nine-month season.
“We have seen a number of new golf resorts but there is room for more. Golfers like variety, and it is hard to get a course to work alone. In golf, the success is in numbers,” said Önkal.
CATHIC conference programme will provide the answers
The Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) scheduled from February 7-9 2011 in Istanbul. The three-day event is endorsed by the Turkish Tourism Investment Association and will focus the attention of local, regional and global hotel investors and developers on Turkey and the CEE geographies.
Worsley said that the programme includes an overview of region’s potential from Önkal and Elif Egeli Nişancı of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, plus a session on finance featuring Kaya.
“A panel of experts will discuss hotel financing structures, criteria and issues involved in financing the region’s hotel projects,” he said.
The conference programme also features sessions on Creating Successful Resorts and Branded Budget and Mid-market Hotels.
Full details of the conference programme and registration information are available at www.cathic.com.
Media Contact: Strategic Solutions, Susan Furness +97150 6556126,
Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) - February 7 - 9 2011, InterContinental Hotel, Istanbul.
To register to attend this event, and for details of the conference programme, please visit www.cathic.com
CATHIC Sponsors include: BDO Hospitality Consulting, Best Western International, Corinthia Hotels, Dedeman Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt International, IHG, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, The Marmara Hotels & Residencies, Jumeirah Group, Orient-Express Hotels, Rixos Hotels, Servotel Corporation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Strategic Solutions, The Rezidor Hotel Group, WATG and Wyndham Hotel Group.
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 the Turkish Tourism Investors Association
(Türkiye Turizm Yatırımcıları Dernegi -TYD)
Established in 1988, TYD is a private, non-governmental association comprising the principal tourism investors in Turkey. TYD members represent two thirds of all private investment in tourism in Turkey. The organisation’s objectives include increasing Turkey’s share of the global tourism industry, bringing together entrepreneurs who wish to invest in the tourism sector, and promoting the importance of the tourism sector to the Turkish economy to a wide audience. TYD members represent two thirds of private investment in tourism in Turkey and the organisation works with government and non-governmental organisations in furthering its objectives. For further information, please visit www.ttyd.org.tr
About Bench Events
Bench Events has a long track record in co-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 fourteenth 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). In 2011 Bench Events will co-host the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (www.cathic.com) , International Hotel Investment Forum, Asia Pacific (www.ihif-asiapacific.com) and launch Hotel Investment Conference Africa, in Morocco (www.africa-conference.com).
Bench Events’ sister company, JW Bench, is a benchmarking company that has successfully launched the Conference Bench and the Productivity Bench. An industry first, the Conference Bench, measures performance data for conference and banqueting space in 10 cities throughout Europe and the Middle East. www.benchevents.com
About HotelWorld Network – Questex Media Group LLC
The HotelWorld Network encompasses a series of publications and live events that provide news and networking to the largest group of hospitality professionals in the industry. HotelWorld Network delivers hotel industry news through its print publications Hotel & Motel Management and Hotel Design magazines in addition to its innovative breaking-news portal www.hotelworldnetwork.com.
The HotelWorld Network also offers cutting-edge educational content and valuable networking opportunities via its International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) Berlin, IHIF Asia Pacific, Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference, Distressed Hotels Summit, Central Asia & Turkey Hotel Investment Forum, HotelWorld Asia, and transform: design differently.