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Speakers

Hüseyin Gürel

Manager, Financial Analysis & Sector Analyst, TSKB Bank

Ömer Isvan

President, Servotel

Alaeddin Babaoglu

President & CEO, Amplio Real Estate Investments

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Mehmet Önkal

Managing Partner, BDO Hospitality Consulting

Simon Vincent

President EMEA, Hilton Worldwide

Şenay Azak-Matt

General Manager - Turkey, Aareal Bank Group

Sinan Onbulak

eBusiness Director, Titanic Hotels

Murat Yilmaz

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

Ayhan Yeginsu

President, LDC - Leisure Development Consultants

Temel Kotil

President & CEO, Turkish Airlines

Alexis de La Palme

SVP – Head of Development Europe , Accor

Romain Avril

Vice President Business Development, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Michael Collini

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

Gülgün Korkusuz

General Manager, Uğurlu Consultancy

Temel Aras

Chief Executive Officer, Kosifler Group

Kaan Kavaloğlu

General Coordinator, Limak International Hotels & Resorts

Hakan Ozkasikci

Development Architect, Turkey & South Eastern Europe, IHG

François Victor

Associate Director, Horwath HTL

Hande Tibuk

Member of Board, Net Holding Inc.

Selen Ersü

Chairman & CEO, EVER Group

Brian Watson

Vice President, Architecture, Design and Construction, EMEA, Wyndham Hotel Group

Goktug Özdemir

President, Tourism Group , MAKYOL Construction Industry & Tourism

Nilsun Tümer

Country Coordinator Turkey, PKF hotelexperts

Sevgi Kurt Gürbüz

Consultant - FFE & OSE Procurement, BDO Hospitality Consulting

Yavuz Ungor

Owner, Matrix Travel

Frank RoccoGrande

Senior Managing Director and Partner, BLG Capital

Serdar Bacaksız

Member of the Board of Directors, Limak Construction

Elizabeth Winkle

Managing Director, STR Global

Rui M. Barros

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

Cenk Sidar

President & CEO, Sidar Global Advisors (SGA)

Naile Göçen Çukurova

Chairwoman, TUSIAD Tourism Working Group

Angela Brav

Chief Executive, Europe, IHG

Mehmet Ersoy

CEO, Etstur , Owner, Voyage Hotels and Maxx Royal Golf &Spa

Bilge Turcan

Chief Business Development Officer , Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International

Christian Michel

Vice President Development Central & Eastern Europe, Wyndham Hotel Group

Murat Ersoy

Chief Executive Officer, AtlasJet

Tarik Nasser

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

Jean-Jacques Dessors

Chief Executive Officer Mediterranean, Middle-East and Africa , ACCOR

Serdar Denktaş

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

Ariane Gorin

Vice President of Market Management EMEA, Expedia Lodging Partner Services

Arda Ermut

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

Erdem Şatiroğlu

Managing Partner, GEMDSE Project Management LLC

David Vely

Senior Vice President Development- Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants International

Hakan Ateş

Chief Executive Officer, Denizbank

Yalin Yaltirakli

Development Director, Turkey, IHG

Daniel Thorniley

President, DT-Global Business Consulting

Oya Narin

Chairperson of the Board, Marti Hotels and Marinas

Elif Balci Fisunoglu

General Manager , Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau - ICVB

Kamil Berk

Tourism Coordinator, NG Hotels

Metin Erdoğdu

President, Horwath HTL

Emre Narin

Vice President, Marti Hotels and Marinas

Nida Çandarlı-Sözügeçer

Golf Consultant, BDO Hospitality Consulting

Sinan Inan

General Manager, Antalya Convention Bureau

Dr. Ibrahim Birkan

General Manager , Turser Tourism Service & Trade Inc.

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Aykut Eken

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

Kerim Başar

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

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst

Emin Çakmak

Chairman, Global Healthcare Travel Council

Ece Tonbul

Executive Board Member, Paloma Hotels

Huseyin Koc

Co-Founder, Metropol Urban Planning LLC

Marilyn McHugh

Vice President, Global Events, Questex Hospitality + Travel Group

Bart Carnahan

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

Press Release

14 Feb 2012

GR Report, Mary Gostelow, 2012

CENTRAL ASIA AND TURKEY HOTEL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE CATHIC 6-8 February 2012 Istanbul

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.