Turkey faces risk of hotel surplus, professional says

Turkey faces risk of hotel surplus, professional says

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey faces risk of hotel surplus, professional says

With all the new hotel projects on the horizon, Kempinksi Çırağan Palace GM Ralph Radtke says that for a period there will be an oversupply of hotels in Turkey. Company photo

In light of planned new hotel projects, Turkey can expect to experience a surplus in the hotel industry for a certain period, according to Ralph Radtke, the general manager of the Çırağan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul and regional vice president of Kempinski.

“Many foreigners are in fact re-discovering Turkey and Istanbul recently because the economy is booming. As a result of the rising business in Turkey, more business people are coming to Istanbul,” Radtke told the Daily News during a recent interview. “On the other hand, the latest official statistics show a drop in tourist arrivals to Turkey and Istanbul. I believe that with all the new hotel projects coming up, there will be an oversupply for a certain period. But what counts at the end is the choice of guests, if you are delivering the quality that your guests expect, and if you are doing your job with passion and excellence, then you will be at the top of the business, while others who do not deliver the expectations of their guests will be the ones who will not make it in a more dynamic and challenging environment, which of course will not be the case for us as we are fully prepared.”

Asked how he would evaluate Turkey’s hotel sector overall, Radtke said a lack of language knowledge is a continuing handicap.

“In many countries, English, the common language of the hotel business, is taught from a young age on; this is not the case in Turkey. We are in a global business, in a global market; English is the minimum we can expect, especially in the luxury hotel business.”

When Radtke had been in Turkey for only a few months, he took over the position of regional vice president, which added other countries to his portfolio. He also participates in Kempinski’s Worldwide Development Committee. Kempinski already has three hotels in Turkey and is searching for a medium-sized hotel in Istanbul, as well as actively seeking partners to develop other new Kempinski hotels. The company hopes to bring its brand to Ankara and İzmir.

“We certainly are not closed to any interesting resort destinations which might have a good future in tourism, particularly in developing destinations. The major problems in emerging regions are logistics and infrastructure, like airports, railways and highways,” Radtke said.