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Industry experts gather in Istanbul for CATHIC

Industry experts gather in Istanbul for CATHIC Yalin Yaltirakli, development director, InterContinental Hotels, Turkey, will speak at the event

Turkey’s tourism potential is coming on par with that of the much-promoted BRIC states – Brazil, Russia, India and China – encouraged by a forecasted 45 per cent annual growth in gross domestic product during the next five years, according to Daniel Thorniley, president of DT-Global Business Consulting.

Thorniley is set to further address the topic at the upcoming Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference, scheduled for May 29th-30th in Istanbul.

Another CATHIC speaker, Şenay Azak-Matt, of Aareal Bank, pointed to development opportunities in Istanbul and cities in the country’s Anatolian region.

“Istanbul in particular is attractive for hospitality developers, as past figures prove that despite the financial crisis, hotel performance is still positive,” he said.

Ömer Isvan, president of Servotel Corp., who also will speak at CATHIC, observed that challenges in developing hotels in popular cities include land costs, especially for standalone, ground-up projects.

“The intricate zoning and building permit procedures also require substantial patience and perseverance,” he said.

“The process may hinder some of the creativity and leadership elements that we would normally wish to incorporate into the development.”

Isvan, together with regional and international experts at CATHIC, will discuss the opportunities of cross-segment development while balancing brand standards with customer expectations and achieving successful return-on-investment.

Yalin Yaltirakli, development director for InterContinental Hotels Group in Turkey and a CATHIC speaker, said his company’s strategy is “to grow where we can, delivering the right type and level of business to ensure that our owners are successful”.

The company has been making investments in Turkey intended to drive delivery into regional cities.

“It’s vital that the hotel brand is right for the location,” he said.

“Everyone loves a five star hotel, but we see a great opportunity for strong returns on investment with our mid-scale hotel brands in Turkey.

“Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express have a great deal of potential in this market. Our collective history to date in creating branded hotels gives us experience we can draw on to advise a potential investor on the best brand for a particular market.”

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.