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Marilyn McHugh

Vice President, Global Events, Questex Hospitality + Travel Group

Kamil Berk

Tourism Coordinator, NG Hotels

Yalin Yaltirakli

Development Director, Turkey, IHG

Mehmet Önkal

Managing Partner, BDO Hospitality Consulting

Selen Ersü

Chairman & CEO, EVER Group

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eBusiness Director, Titanic Hotels

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General Manager, Antalya Convention Bureau

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President & CEO, Turkish Airlines

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

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President, Horwath HTL

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Co-Founder, Metropol Urban Planning LLC

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Executive Board Member, Paloma Hotels

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Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR Global

Oya Narin

Chairperson of the Board, Marti Hotels and Marinas

Bilge Turcan

Chief Business Development Officer , Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International

Mehmet Ersoy

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

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Senior Managing Director and Partner, BLG Capital

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Vice President, Marti Hotels and Marinas

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

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Vice President of Market Management EMEA, Expedia Lodging Partner Services

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President EMEA, Hilton Worldwide

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Consultant - FFE & OSE Procurement, BDO Hospitality Consulting

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Vice President Business Development, The Rezidor Hotel Group

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

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Chairman, Global Healthcare Travel Council

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General Manager - Turkey, Aareal Bank Group

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Chief Executive Officer, Denizbank

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

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Vice President Development Central & Eastern Europe, Wyndham Hotel Group

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President & CEO, Amplio Real Estate Investments

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SVP – Head of Development Europe , Accor

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Golf Consultant, BDO Hospitality Consulting

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Owner, Matrix Travel

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General Manager , Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau - ICVB

Wolfgang M. Neumann

President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Brian Watson

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

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Managing Director, STR Global

Kerim Başar

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

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General Coordinator, Limak International Hotels & Resorts

Ömer Isvan

President, Servotel

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Development Architect, Turkey & South Eastern Europe, IHG

Murat Yilmaz

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

Rui M. Barros

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

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President, LDC - Leisure Development Consultants

Angela Brav

Chief Executive, Europe, IHG

Andrew Sangster

Editorial Director, Hotel Analyst

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Member of Board, Net Holding Inc.

Erdem Şatiroğlu

Managing Partner, GEMDSE Project Management LLC

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

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Manager, Financial Analysis & Sector Analyst, TSKB Bank

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

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Chairwoman, TUSIAD Tourism Working Group

François Victor

Associate Director, Horwath HTL

Serdar Bacaksız

Member of the Board of Directors, Limak Construction

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Chief Executive Officer, Kosifler Group

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President, Tourism Group , MAKYOL Construction Industry & Tourism

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President & CEO, Sidar Global Advisors (SGA)

Gülgün Korkusuz

General Manager, Uğurlu Consultancy

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President, DT-Global Business Consulting

Bart Carnahan

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

Press Release

25 Jan 2012

Tourism set to play catalyst in Turkey

Investors in Turkey hungry for market information

Tourism sector in Turkey remains ripe and untapped   


Istanbul, Turkey November 2011: The outlook of the Turkish tourism industry is more buoyant than ever, with an increasing number of international and local hotel companies investing in the sector, said Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, co-organiser of the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC), to be held in Istanbul from February 6-8 2012.

“It is the ideal time to invest in Turkey’s hospitality sector with international tourist arrivals expected reach 33 million by 2012[1]. Indeed, more than 1.4[2]million Arab visitors are recorded so far this year.”

Figures reveal that the tourism sector is currently contributing 11 per cent year on year economic growth, with Istanbul seeing a 30 per cent increase in tourist revenue for 2011. Worsley noted that this sets the pace for Turkey to achieve its goal of welcoming 70 million tourist arrivals by 2023 - the 100th Anniversary of the Republic.

Meanwhile, Mehmet Önkal, Managing Partner, BDO Hospitality Consulting in Turkey warned that investment in the sector is crucial.

“One of the key drivers of sustainable development is the consistent flow of investment and Turkey is lucky as it does not face the same challenges with financing as other markets.  There does however need to be a more strategic drive that appreciates the needs of the market, as well as recognition of the unique requirements of a hotel development, as opposed to other asset classes.”

Önkalsaid that Turkey is at the beginning of a property boom and that investors and stakeholders have yet to fully identify and utilise the investment opportunities presented by the tourism and hospitality sector, proven to be a catalyst for economic growth.

Worsley said that the upcoming CATHIC will address both the opportunities and challenges, specifically those related to the availability of capital. “We will be joined by representatives from major Turkish banks and will discuss hotel financing structures and lending criteria, as well as issues involved in ensuring properties provide long term return on investment for owners”.

The conference programme includes speakers with knowledge and expertise in regional and international hotel development, finance, hotel branding and operations, plus sessions giving perspectives from industry analysts.

Key speakers at CATHIC 2012 include Cevdet Akcay, Chief Economist, Yapi Kredi Bank; Denis Hennequin, President & CEO, Accor SA; Eric Danziger, President & Chief Executive Officer, Wyndham Hotel Group; Angela Brav, Chief Executive Officer – Europe, IHG; Kurt Ritter, President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group; Atilla Ozturk,  CEO & Board Member, ASTAY; Serdar Bilgili, Chairman, Bilgili Holding; Simon Vincent, President - Europe, Hilton Worldwide; Roeland Vos, President EAME, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; and Lado Sakvarelidze, Chief Financial Officer, Redix.

In addition to the conference programme, CATHIC offers various networking opportunities, as well as an exhibition.  Delegates will have ample opportunity to meet other participants, discuss opportunities and to do business.