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First 5-Star Swissotel Property On Black Sea To Open In 2013

Booming Turkey

Elisabeth Lang, eTN  Feb 11, 2011

ISTANBUL (eTN) - The European Capitals of Culture, City of Year for 2010, has brought a tremendous visibility and great success to the city of Istanbul, which is founded on two continents, according to Gerhard Struger, General Manager of Istanbul's Swissotel, The Bosphorous, and nearly 9 years in town - a eternity in the fast-changing world of hotel GMs.

"The year 2010 has been a super year for all hoteliers! We were runing over 6 months at 90% occupancy (the hotel has 500 rooms), and 2011 is promising to become another fanatastic year," he said.

According to Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, Turkey welcomed 29 million in-bound tourists in 2010 encouraging analysts to predict an increase for this year. In previous years:

- the tourism sector contributed $22 billion in 2010;
- foreign arrivals hit 29 million, up by almost 7.5% last year;
- Turkey ranked 7th as the most visited country in the world in 2009; and
- golf tourism contributed an estimated $680 million last year.

The country's tourism and hospitality sector is earmarked to generate $123 billion by 2019, boosted by speciality tourism, with medical tourism expected to grow by 16% in the next three years.

Worsley said that opportunities for tourism development are Turkey-wide, suggesting that immediate attention be given to Istanbul, Mugla, and Antara, as well as developing key beachfront locations.

“The country’s golf tourism has seen massive growth last year, and medical tourism is expected to grow around 16 percent in the next three years. Add to it the growing leisure tourism, and Turkey becomes a hot spot for developers with an appetite to meet this demand," Worsley said.

Worsley brought in the region’s first conference dedicated to investment in the burgeoning tourism and hospitality sector. The first Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) was held February 7-9 2011 at the InterContinental Hotel, Istanbul. For this event, 300 leading hoteliers, investors, and developers met in Istanbul.

No conference is hardly everheld without some kind of award given out, and
this conference was no different. The Best New Hotel in Turkey award was given to Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul, which opened in September 2010 after a lavish 23 million-dollar restoration. It was here that Agatha Christie was said to have writen Murder on the Orient Express in room 411.

The Best New Hotel in the Central Asia & Turkey Hotel Investment Conference was awarded to Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia, for Best New Hotel in the CATHIC region (non-Turkish). Meanwhile, the award for Outstanding Achievement was bestowed upon Haluk Kaya, the Chairman of Bekay Property Partners.

CATHIC is co-organized by Bench Events and Questex Media, who also organizes the Russia and CIS Hotel Investment Conference, Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, International Hotel Investment Forum Asia Pacific, and the International Hotel Investment Forum Berlin.

About the Turkish Tourism Investors Association
(Türkiye Turizm Yatırımcıları Dernegi -TYD)

Established in 1988, TYD is a private, non-governmental association comprising the principal tourism investors in Turkey. TYD members represent two-thirds of all private investment in tourism in Turkey. The organization’s objectives include increasing Turkey’s share of the global tourism industry, bringing together entrepreneurs who wish to invest in the tourism sector, and promoting the importance of the tourism sector to the Turkish economy to a wide audience. TYD members represent two-thirds of private investment in tourism in Turkey, and the organization works with government and non-governmental organizations in furthering its objectives. For further information, please visit .

Booming Turkey
The Blue Mosque / Image via

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