Turkey’s Tourism Development Needs To Be Holistic
Industry experts highlight why Turkey is an investment hotspot
The Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC)
May 29-30 2013, Marmara Taksim, Istanbul
ISTANBUL (May 15, 2013) – Regional hospitality and tourism experts gathered recently to discuss Turkey’s dynamic tourism sector ahead of this month’s CATHIC (The Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference) set to be held at Istanbul’s Marmara Taksim from May 29-30, 2013.
CATHIC speakers gathered to discuss Turkey’s dynamic tourism sector ahead of this month’s CATHIC set to be held at Istanbul’s Marmara Taksim from May 29-30, 2013. Pictured from left Servotel Corporation Chairman, Ömer İsvan; Demsa Group Tourism Investments Coordinator, Serra Arıkök; BDO Hospitality Consulting Managing Partner, Mehmet Önkal and Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau General Manager, Elif Balcı Fisunoğlu.
CATHIC speakers Serra Arıkök, Investments Coordinator of Demsa Group Tourism, Elif Balcı Fisunoğlu, General Manager of Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau – ICVB and Ömer İsvan, Chairman of Servotel Corporation joined in the round table discussion chaired by BDO Hospitality Consulting Managing Partner Mehmet Önkal to discuss Turkey’s potential, opportunities and challenges.
Spearheading the conversation, Serra Arıkök explained across-the-board infrastructure investment will be needed in Turkey to realise the potential of its tourism sector developments. She said “In areas and regions where hotel investment is possible, the number of art, entertainment and shopping facilities that serve as tourist attractions must see growth parallel to the number of hotels.
“Looking at the regional master plan, it is also important to have hotels representing each category in accordance with the region’s characteristics. This will direct and guide potential investors to the right investment project. Furthermore, regulations related to historic buildings need to be reviewed, the bureaucracy lowered and increased incentives in certain regions that require hotels."
Advisory Board required for tourism
Arıkök added that hotel supply must be developed in a controlled manner to avoid bad investments.
“An advisory board and consultancy is essential for this reason. We must increase foreign language classes in schools, provide human resources to the sector and give simple language education to the people that tourists are in touch with – like taxi drivers – to support the more qualified professionals in the sector.
“Turkey is one of the most fortunate countries in the world in terms of historical and natural beauties, it is also now becoming a centre of entertainment and business where cultural activities are flourishing and it is becoming a city that is repeatedly visited like Paris, London and New York.”
Arıkök strongly believes that tourists who have visited historic Istanbul will be attracted to visit again, and emphasised that to achieve this, other art festivals, modern and classic museums, world class exhibitions and entertainment facilities must continue to increase.
Economic stability causes the tourist number to increase
Arıkök observed that strong relations with Middle Eastern and Caucasian countries help drive tourism to Turkey: “The stability experienced by the Turkish economy has a positive impact on business opportunities with other countries and the number of tourists.
“As the number of exhibitions and conferences continue to increase, investors too look to increase their investments in Turkey, aware of the rising value in tourism sector. Until we reach the supply of cities like Paris, London, Barcelona and New York, which are much ahead of us numerically, investments in this sector will continue to be attractive."
Meanwhile, Servotel Corporation Chairman Ömer İsvan highlighted some of the challenges faced in the tourism sector. “Challenges include the intricate zoning and building permit procedures, which require substantial patience and perseverance. The process may hinder some of the creativity and leadership elements that we would normally wish to incorporate into development.” He added: “In hot destinations like Istanbul, land costs are challenging for a stand-alone, ground up hotel development.”
Istanbul is a shortlisted destination to host International events
Elif Balcı Fisunoğlu highlighted that over the last 10 years Istanbul has hosted large international scale events and congresses and this looks to grow and continue.
“Istanbul is nearly in every shortlist to play host to a variety of major upcoming international events. In fact, we believe that Istanbul is a very strong candidate for the 2020 Olympic Games and that this city has the necessary experience and charm for this important event.”
Annual foreign tourists reached 9.3 million
While Istanbul looks to grow with developments and investments in economic, academic, cultural and social life, Fisunoğlu further emphasised Istanbul’s potential of a modern city mixed with history, which makes Istanbul attractive to investors.
“Istanbul has extraordinary congress and exhibition centres and nearly 80,000 guest rooms and 94 5-star and luxury hotels. Moreover it is an easily accessible destination from anywhere in the globe. The city itself enjoys an eclectic composition of different cultures and traditions and can be identified as an open air museum with its palaces, mosques, churches and historic monuments.”
Fisunoğlu observed that the number of international visitors to Turkey has risen annually since 2003, “The numbers of foreign tourists to Istanbul have increased to reach 9.3 million last year, compared to 3 million in 2003. This has helped Istanbul to become one of the most visited cities in the world and this increase has foundations like accessibility, historic charm, modern infrastructure and facilities, young and dynamic population, economic state and political stability,” she added.
CATHIC is co-organised by Bench Events and Questex Media, which also manages the Russia and CIS Hotel Investment Conference, Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, International Hotel Investment Forum Asia Pacific and International Hotel Investment Forum Berlin.
Platinum sponsors: BDO and Wyndham Hotel Group
Gold sponsors: ACCOR, Argentina Ministry of Tourism, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International, European Golf Design, Hilton Worldwide, Horwath HTL, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Jones Lang LaSalle, Marti Istanbul Hotel, Premier Inn Development, Quadriga, RIXOS Hotels, Servotel Corporation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, STR Global, The Marmara Collection and WATG.
Supporters: AKTOB (Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association), Cornell School of Hotel Administration, DEIK (Foreign Economic Relations Board), EHL, ICVB (Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau), SKAL (Skal International Istanbul Club), TMB (Turkish Constructors Association), TUROB (Touristic Hotels & Investors Association), TYD (Turkish Tourism Investors Association) and World Travel & Tourism Council.
Media partners: Destinations of the World News, Europroperty, Gayrimenkul Turkiye, Global Hotel Network, Hotel Management, Hotel Analyst, HotelNewsNow.com, Networking Turkey, Oxford Business Group, PFD, REIDEN.com, Sleeper, The Business Year, Travel & Tour World, TTG MENA and YourBusinessChannel.
The Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC), May 29-30 2013, The Marmara Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey. For details of the conference programme, please visit www.cathic.com.
About Bench Events
About Bench Events
Bench Events has a long track record of delivering, with its partners, the premier hotel investment events in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Bench Events Chairman Jonathan Worsley is one of the organisers and founders of the highly successful International Hotel Investment Forum, now in its 17th year. In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai and in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference. In 2011 Bench Events added two events to the portfolio, co-hosting the Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference and launching the Africa Hotel Investment Forum. In 2012 Bench Events co-hosted the British Hospitality & Tourism Summit in London and the Morocco Tourism Investment Forum in 2013. For more information, visit www.benchevents.com.
About Questex Media Group LLC
Questex Hospitality + Travel, the largest multimedia organization in the world dedicated to hospitality and travel, drives revenue, productivity and value creation for these related industries through strategic investment and deal-making forums, powerful lead-generation tools, interactive online business solutions, world-class events and industry-leading publications.
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, Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference, Asia Pacific Tourism Destination Investment Conference, Brasil Hospitality Investment Conference, Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference, Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference, HOTEC Design North America and HOTEC Operations & Technology North America; lead generation portal HotelManagement.net; industry news delivery services in print, online and mobile worldwide via IHIF: Hotel Investment News along with Hotel Management and HA+D magazines.