In a new joint venture with a Turkish partner, Abu Dhabi-based Cristal Hospitality will set up the Cristal Turkey office in its bid to capitalise on the explosive growth of the country’s accommodation sector. With more than 40 million leisure and business tourists in 2014, Turkey is rated as the sixth most visited country worldwide and the government aims to grow this by 50 per cent as the country develops in areas including medical, cultural, sports and wellness tourism, as well as its traditional city break and beach sectors.
According to Mr. Peter Blackburn, President and CEO of Cristal Hospitality, the group has set a target of opening 8 new hotels in Turkey within three years encompassing all four brands: “With the backing of a prominent local partner, we can think this is a realistic ambition given the bullish growth the hospitality sector in Turkey is currently experiencing,” he said.
“Istanbul itself boasts more than 800 properties with nearly 5,000 rooms under development, but as well as looking at this city, we will be seeking opportunities in secondary destinations plus the mid-market sector which is under-served by international brands,” said Mr Blackburn.
The projected opening of the Istanbul New Airport in 2017 will give Turkey a gateway that will be the largest airport in Europe with a potential capacity of 150 million passengers a year, adding to the attraction of the country as a destination, he added.
“In addition to unlimited tourist attractions, Turkey is developing as a financial and manufacturing centre, with projects such as the Istanbul International Finance Centre set to attract more commercial ventures into the city – all of which will spur the need for additional accommodation options both in Istanbul and throughout the country.”
Based in Abu Dhabi, Cristal Hotels & Resorts offers both regional and international expertise and a wealth of accommodation models suited to a growing market, concluded Mr Blackburn.