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Yaşar Döngel

Member of the Board, IC Holding

Alper Aksoy

Corporate Team Leader, Aksoy Construction & Trade

Murat Yilmaz

Senior Director, Acquisition & Development Central & Eastern Europe, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Angela Brav

Chief Executive, Europe, IHG

Tarik Nasser

Vice President, International Lodging Development , Marriott International, Inc.

Frank RoccoGrande

Senior Managing Director and Partner, BLG Capital

Burak Akgüç

Executive Vice President - Corporate Banking and Project Finance, TSKB

Cahit Şahin

General Manager, The Montgomery Maxx Royal Golf Course

Ece Tonbul

Executive Board Member, Paloma Hotels

Ben Martin

Principal, Head of Economics, AECOM

Jean-Jacques Dessors

Chief Executive Officer Mediterranean, Middle-East and Africa (MMEA), ACCOR

Romain Avril

Vice President Business Development, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Ozlem Gokce

General Manager, Extensa İstanbul Emlak Yatırım İnşaat ve Ticaret A.Ş.

Murat Ersoy

Chief Executive Officer, AtlasJet

Mehmet Önkal

Managing Partner, BDO Hospitality Consulting

Gianluca Laterza

Territory Manager Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta, TripAdvisor

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Emin Çakmak

Chairman, Global Healthcare Travel Council

Huseyin Koc

Co-Founder, Metropol Urban Planning LLC

Rui Barros

SVP & Managing Director Europe, Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group

Arda Ermut

Vice President, ISPAT - Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey

Kerim Başar

Managing Partner, CEO, N+1 Daruma Corporate Finance - Real Estate

Sevgi Kurt Gürbüz

Consultant - FFE & OSE Procurement, BDO Hospitality Consulting

Yavuz Ungor

Owner, Matrix Travel

Mike Collini

Vice President Development – Turkey, Russia and Eastern Europe, Hilton Worldwide

Aykut Eken

Board Member, Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK)

Bilge Turcan

Chief Business Development Officer , Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International

Ömer Isvan

President, Servotel

Dr. Ibrahim Birkan

General Manager , Turser Tourism Service & Trade Inc.

Kamil Berk

Tourism Coordinator, NG Hotels

Christian Michel

Vice President Development Central & Eastern Europe, Wyndham Hotel Group

Kaan Kavaloğlu

General Coordinator, Limak International Hotels & Resorts

Hande Tibuk

Member of Board, Net Holding Inc.

Oya Narin

Chairperson of the Board, Marti Hotels and Marinas

T. Serdar Bacaksız

Member of the Board of Directors, Limak Construction

Hakan Ozkasikci

Development Architect, Turkey & South Eastern Europe, IHG

Goktug Özdemir

Chief Executive Officer, GO Project Management and Construction

Tavit Köletavitoğlu

President, Atlas Project & Land Development

Şelale Kadak

Business Columnist, Sabah Newspaper

Ayhan Yeginsu

President, LDC - Leisure Development Consultants

David Jenkins

Executive Vice President, Russia & CIS, JLL, Hotels & Hospitality Group

Mehmet Kocadon

Mayor of Bodrum

Hüseyin Gürel

Manager, Financial Analysis & Sector Analyst, TSKB

Bart Carnahan

Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Naile Göçen Çukurova

Chairwoman, TUSIAD Tourism Working Group

Fatih Cigal

Vice President, Marketing & Sales (Central Europe), Turkish Airlines

Nilsun Tümer

Country Coordinator Turkey, PKF hotelexperts

Simon Vincent

President EMEA, EVP, Hilton Worldwide

Erdem Şatiroğlu

Managing Partner, GEMDSE Project Management LLC

Nida Çandarlı-Sözügeçer

Golf Consultant, BDO Hospitality Consulting

Diego Lofeudo

Senior Director of Market Management for the Middle East and Indian Ocean , Expedia

Volkan Müller

Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer, JLL Turkey

Özgür Özaslan

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture , Turkey

Defne Gezen

Managing Director, DTM Hospitality Consulting

Gülgün Korkusuz

General Manager, Uğurlu Consultancy

Temel Aras

Chief Executive Officer, Kosifler Group

Alaeddin Babaoglu

President & CEO, Amplio Real Estate Investments

Sinan Inan

General Manager, Antalya Convention Bureau

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst Group of Titles

Brian Watson

VP Architecture, Design & Construction, EMEAI, Wyndham Hotel Group

Metin Erdoğdu

President, Horwath HTL

Yalin Yaltirakli

Development Director, Turkey, IHG

Emre Narin

Vice President, Marti Hotels and Marinas

Ertuğrul Karaoğlu

Chief Executive Officer, Intra Tourism Group

Kadir Topbaş

Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

David Vely

Senior Vice President Development Middle East, Africa & India, Premier Inn International

Selen Ersü

Chairman & CEO, EVER Group

Sinan Onbulak

eBusiness Director, Titanic Hotels

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Marilyn McHugh

Vice President, Global Events, Questex Hospitality + Travel Group

Şenay Azak-Matt

General Manager - Turkey, Aareal Bank Group

Hakan Ateş

President & Chief Executive Officer, Denizbank

Daniel Thorniley

President, DT-Global Business Consulting

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Cenk Sidar

President & CEO, Sidar Global Advisors (SGA)

Serdar Denktaş

Deputy PM & Minister of Economy, Tourism, Culture & Sports, Northern Cyprus

Alexis de La Palme

SVP – Head of Development Europe , Accor

François Victor

Associate Director, Horwath HTL

Press Release

14 Feb 2012

GR Report, Mary Gostelow, 2012


The most useful interchange was BDO Hospitality Consulting managing partner Mehmet Onkal’s regional update of brands now and to come.

Armenia – Yerevan Marriott (to come, Hilton); Azerbaijan – Baku Hilton, Hyatt Regency, JW Marriott, Kempinski, Park Hyatt, Radisson Blu (to come, Fairmont, Four Seasons); Georgia – Batumi Radisson Blu, Sheraton (to come, Hilton, Kempinski), Tbilisi Marriott, Radisson Blu, Sheraton; Iran – no brands, no pipeline; Iraq – Erbil Rotana (to come, Dedeman, Hilton, Kempinski) and Baghdad government has several hotels it wants brands to take over; Kazakhstan – Almaty InterCon, Kempinski  (to come, JW Marriott), Astana –Radisson Blu; Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek Hyatt Regency; Syria – situation unclear right now; Tajikistan – Dushanbe Hyatt Regency; Turkmenistan - Ashgabat Sofitel; Uzbekistan – Tashkent InterCon, Radisson Blu. • And, of course, Turkey. The country already has 65 internationally branded hotels (all levels) with a pipeline of a further 52 brands. The 150km-long Istanbul state, rapidly being absorbed into Istanbul city, has 39 brands and 24 more to come. Of all the big brands, Hilton has had the right approach for Turkey , he says.  They set up a development base in Ankara in 2008, moved it to Istanbul in 2010 and quickly saw rewards

Turkey is the hottest destination in the area, if not the world at the moment, says Onkal. Marriott is talking about 15 projects.  Within the past 4 days, there were Bodrum signings for Amanresorts, Canyon Ranch, Jumeirah and Mandarin Oriental. Challenges to getting into Istanbul include an absolute shortage of central land and if you find it, the cost is about $18,500 per sq m; you need a local partner as all existing hotels are locally owned, and banks do not like lending to the sector.  But yes, there is still room for more peripheral hotels.  Turkey’s international visitors grew 20% in 2011 over 2010, and now Turkish Airlines has 52 weekly flights Istanbul-London, with British Airways adding a further 21 a week.

The 2-day conference, chaired jointly by organisers Marilyn McHugh vp global hospitality events Questex Hospitality and Travel, and Jonathan Worsley, chairman Bench Events and board member STR Global, was themed Unlock the Potential.  It attracted 330 delegates from 33 countries; 42% from Turkey, 22% from UK.  30% were operators, 22% developers or financiers, 5% government officials (including delegations from Argentina and Morocco) • As invariably happens, the keynote ceos’ panel resulted in no-one saying anything new – thank goodness Rezidor’s Kurt Ritter wore a purple tie to relieve the otherwise-funereal couture. There was more animation on the regional bosses’ panel, with Hilton’s Simon Vincent saying he would invest where necessary, and Starwood Hotels’ Roeland Vos looking for a partner to roll out Aloft, fast, and he wants more resorts, where his company has a long history of making money.

What resorts of the future will look like featured in the packed Luxury hotels that stand out from the crowd session – WATG vp John Goldwyn – whose personal hero is Bill Bensley – casually mentioned a massive Caspian Sea mixed-use project that is set to include not only resort and residences but helipad, landing strip and train station.  His companions

Alper Aksoy, owner of the 600r Istanbul Conrad (that was supposed, pre-xxx opening, to be Marriott), and Atilla Oztürk, ceo Astay, the textiles conglomerate whose hotel portfolio includes both Istanbul Four Seasons, stressed the importance of history and reputation, and need for owners and operators to work together continuously to keep ahead, and stand out. Sofitel ceo Richard Gaymer-Jones, by contrast, looked ahead to having a hotel in town. His is one of the few international brands (count’em on one hand) not yet in Turkey.

The 2012 Leadership Award went to Dedeman chairman, Murat Dedeman, who, with typical Turkish humility, said what a big honour this was, and without a great team it is impossible to achieve success. The week-old Istanbul Le Méridien hosted the opening cocktail, to show off that brand’s new look, with a day-glo blue-lit off-lobby meeting ‘igloo’, 265 beige, grey and black rooms with moulded ceilings like sand-ripples – this was corporate brand manager’s Eva Zwiegler’s swansong as she leaves end of March. The conference was overall hosted by the franchised Istanbul Ceylan InterCon (IHG’s Angela Brav was making her debut as ceo Europe). Interestingly, while in years past there was a continuous move to get delegates to turn mobiles off, this year where was a concerted effort to be part-of-the-proceedings, via the ghastly twitter.