Gökhan Kurtaran- ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Hoteliers and sector advisors meeting in Istanbul agree that Turkey is on the eve of attracting more and more international brands. The global interest is not limited to Istanbul, but Anatolian cities also due to a growing middle class
People walk pass the Westin New York hotel, a Starwood Hotels subsidiary. Its owner IGH looks for opportunities to invest in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey. AP photo
More than 50 international hotel brands are having talks to enter the Turkish market, which offers attractive opportunities, according to professionals speaking on the sidelines of the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC).
“We are committed to invest in Turkey’s hotel business,” Angela Brav, chief executive officer of Europe at Intercontinental Hotels Group (IGH) told the Hürriyet Daily News at CATHIC in Istanbul. “We want to bring nine hotel brands in Turkey,” said Brav, adding that the company would decide on investments in Turkey following a meeting with investors due in July.
Staybridge Suites and Hotel Indigo are among the brands that IGH has in its portfolio. “Turkey, Germany, Britain and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries have top priority in our three years investment plans,” she said.
Rotana is among the hotel chains which plan to operate in Turkey soon, according to Ömer İsvan, president of Servotel Corporation, the Istanbul-based consultancy company.
“Many international hotel brands, over 50 firms are in talks with to start operating in Turkey,” İsvan told the Daily News. Saudi Arabian Rotana Hotels headquartered in Abu Dhabi plans to start operating a hotel in Istanbul, he added.
“We would like to bring our brands here to Istanbul as the city has a lot to offer for hotel operators and investors,” said Roeland Vos, president of European, Middle East and Africa regions at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.
“We are not just interested in Istanbul, but also other cities in Anatolia,” said Vos, “Turkey’s middle class is on rise thanks to strong growth of the Turkish economy, I believe that it’s the right time to invest,” he said.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced this week that it would start operating an 80-bedroom luxurious hotel and 214 luxurious residences in southwestern province Bodrum.
More tourists to come
“Turkey is expected to receive nearly 33 million tourists this year, so far only in January nearly 1.4 million tourists from the Middle East and the Gulf have visited the country,” said Jonathan Worsley, board director of Bench Events, main organizer of CATHIC. “We are in the right time to place Turkey top in our investment list now,” he said.
During the January to November period last year, foreign arrivals to Turkey increased 10.2 percent, according to Jones Lang La Salle Turkey’s data.