Press Release

23 May 2013

Industry Experts Debate What’s Hot, What’s Not at this Month’s CATHIC

Turkey’s growing tourism sector is driving demand for more quality upscale hotels in coastal and non-coastal locations as well as spa, ski, religious and cultural products, according to Michael Collini, Hilton Worldwide vice president, development, Turkey, Russia & Eastern Europe.

“We are seeing multiple trends in Turkey from consumer interest in affordable value accommodation in locations across the country to new and emerging destinations especially in the eastern parts of Turkey,” Collini said, previewing his remarks at this month’s Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) on May 29-30, 2013 at Istanbul’s Marmara Taksim.

“There is increasing development interest on the Asian side of Istanbul, where we already operate DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Moda, and look forward to welcoming Hilton Istanbul Kozyatagi shortly, while domestic travel presents opportunities for our value brands, such as Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn,” he said.

A CATHIC session entitled “Turkey’s regional round-up, what’s hot… what’s not,” will feature Collini along with Romain Avril, vice president, development, The Rezidor Hotel Group; Robert Shepherd, chief development officer, Europe, InterContinental Hotels Group; and Thomas Willms, senior vice president, director, Eastern & Central Europe, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

IHG’s Shepherd has observed a shift in the European market from independent unbranded hotels to branded hotels as investors continue to look for returns and investments that hold their value.

“Three of our 15 hotels in Turkey were rebrandings including the InterContinental Ceylan, previously a Sheraton,” Shepherd said. “The ADR (average daily rate) is determined by the location and demand generators for location, and not the hotel quality, so it does not make sense to put a five-star hotel in a three-star market location. We anticipate a growing demand for midscale and budget hotels.  Midscale offers the features guests want and the return on investment investors need.”

Trevor Ward, managing director of W Hospitality Group, a hospitality consulting firm, identifies a growing trend for development of the mid-market and economy lodging sectors, particularly from branded chains, through management agreements and franchises and Collini concurs.

“We are focusing on quality hotel development projects, to underscore the established trend of consumers looking for authentic brand experiences and superb accommodation options when visiting a location,” said Collini.
The Hilton Worldwide executive, said central Asia holds out opportunities to grow a portfolio in major cities and regional locations. “Our first hotel in Azerbaijan, the Hilton Baku, is a prime example of consumers increasingly demanding high quality, international standard hotels with food and beverage as well as spa capabilities that could rival any international city,” he said.

Conference speakers will address regional and international hotel development, finance, hotel branding and operations. Speakers will include Marin Kandrac, managing director, Blackstone; Eric Danziger, president & chief executive officer, Wyndham Hotel Group; Geoffrey Breeze, executive director, World Travel & Tourism Council; Angela Brav, regional chief executive officer, Europe, IHG; Wolfgang Neumann, President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group; and Mehmet Önkal, managing partner, BDO.

CATHIC is co-organised by Bench Events and Questex Media, which also jointly organise the Russia and CIS Hotel Investment Conference, and International Hotel Investment Forum Berlin.