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TOURISM >Hotel investments in Turkey’s Black Sea soar as Arab tourists flock to region

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Hotel investments across Turkey accelerated in the first half of the year after a tough period for the tourism industry, with the country’s Black Sea region seeing a number of new hotels amid a flock of tourists from Middle Eastern markets. 

Hotel investments across the country rose by 13.5 percent in the first half of the year, totaling 1.7 billion Turkish Liras ($481 million) in projects that secured incentives, the Hoteliers Association of Turkey (TÜROB) said in a statement on Aug. 14. 

Investors received incentives to build 101 new hotels in 38 provinces, with a bed capacity of 16,000, in the first six months of this year. 

In June, investors applied for incentives to build 13 hotels, with a total room capacity of 2,379, across seven provinces for a total of 268 million liras. This marked a 190 percent year-on-year increase in investment value. 

In the first six months of 2017, the Mediterranean resort of Antalya topped the list of provinces that lured the highest amount of hotel investment, followed by Istanbul and the Aegean provinces of İzmir and Muğla. 

According to the TÜROB report, Trabzon in the Black Sea region saw a skyrocketing rise in hotel investments. 

Investors applied for incentives to build seven new hotels for over 100 million liras in Trabzon, where Arab tourists have shown huge interest over the last couple of years. 

In the last 1.5 years, the number of newly-launched hotel projects hit 19 in Trabzon, according to TÜROB. 
TÜROB President Timur Bayındır said the huge Arab interest in the Black Sea region played a key role in surging hotel investments, while also voicing the need for “controlled growth.” 

“In the upcoming period, the region’s hotel supply may exceed demand. New development should therefore be in a controlled manner,” Bayındır added.  

This “uncontrolled growth” trend is also a problem in other Black Sea provinces, including Ordu and Samsun, TÜROB Trabzon representative Ali Şahin said. 

“These unplanned investments may create serious problems in the future, filling the region with unoccupied hotels. The tourism season is quite short in our region,” Şahin said, adding that the bed capacity of Trabzon would hit 10,000 in the next 1.5 years. 

“During the hot season, hotel occupancy rates rise to 80 percent, but our region’s annual average is 50 percent. New investments must be in a planned manner,” he added.

August/14/2017

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