CATHIC 2014 at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Centre

On June 9-10, 2014 the Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) celebrated its fourth birthday and was held at the stunning Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Centre. With almost 300 delegates and over 70 press attendees the event was a huge success. We’d like to say a big thank you to all our speakers, sponsors and supporters that contributed.

The Hilton Istanbul Bomonti & Conference Centre is a venue that needed no introduction. It is the largest hotel of its kind in the city and is located in the central area of Sisli – adjacent to the former Bomonti Beer Factory [established on site in 1902]. The skeleton of the beer factory still stares at you from opposite the lobby, and rumor has it, they may even repurpose it into a stunning bar and beer garden [Fingers crossed – as it would be a pure compliment to the facility].

 


[Above picture source: http://levantineheritage.com/bomonti.htm]

The hotel hosts’ breathtaking views of the Bosphorus and surrounding city from the rooftop bar on the 34th floor, and all the rooms boast floor to ceiling views, which are impossible to ignore.With such an impressive location and views, the hotel was a fitting spot to host an event that encourages and celebrates the Turkish Tourism Industry.

CATHIC’s opening addresses from Murat Ersoy – President of AtlasJet and Chairman of the Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TYD); and Ministry of Culture and Tourism Undersecretary Özgür Özaslan highlighted Turkey as a burgeoning tourism hotspot, and I could understand why as I took my opportunity to explore the surrounding sites following the event.

Turkey as a nation currently sits at 6th in the world for number of tourist arrivals and this is showing signs of continued growth. However, Ersoy noted that the bed capacity in Istanbul and surrounding regions still needs to grow in order for airlines to increase their operations and promote tourism arrivals more courageously.  Tourism areas, and facilites where tourists take comfort need to be created and improved.

This was emphasised by Özaslan who stated: “We, as a nation, have achieved a success story by creating a variety of markets. Successful implementation of the all inclusive system was efficient in the success of coastal tourism… Of course, it still needs to be improved.”

In 2015, expect to see the CATHIC series grow to also offer regional briefings throughout Turkey – and encourage more intimate and focussed discussions on furthering the potential of the Turkish Tourism Industry.

Personal Highlight: Jonathan Worsley’s interview with Mehmet Onkal following the presentation of his Lifetime Achievement Award. Who would’ve guessed that Mehmet always travels with a lime packed in his suitcase? However it seems a good Lime and Vodka can sometimes be hard to find when travelling the world! Photos from this presentation along with the rest of the event sessions can be found here.