Domestic travelers remain the main source of business for Turkish hotels. A number of ambitious local and international entrepreneurs are targeting markets further afield.

Ata Eremsoy

General Manager, The Marmara Taksim


We have completed the first phase of renovation at the hotel in Taksim. The entrance, lobby, restaurant, bar, chocolate shop, and grand ballroom have been completed. We are now continuing with the spa and fitness areas. The final phase will include all rooms.


Our Taksim location is a landmark­—it's right in the center of the city and we work with various different nationalities. We try to keep a balance of 60% corporate and 40% leisure business. We have a total of 19 meeting rooms together with our grand ballroom and another 450-sqm ballroom.


Our primary source is still Turkey. However, our most promising markets are Germany followed by the US and UK—plus, we receive a lot of business from the Far East. In 2012 it has already increased by 35% compared to 2011.

Pınar Kartal Timer

General Manager, Pera Palace Hotel


I'm very happy with the image we have built in just a year, not only nationally, but also internationally. The level of success we have achieved with the restoration of the hotel has absolutely exceeded our expectations.


Our mission was to restore the hotel to its former glory. For so many years Pera Palace Hotel was not looked after and allowed to fall into disrepair. The building was taken for granted because it had been here for 120 years.


The connection between our guests from all segments of the market is a love of history and culture. We have guests of many different ages, but they all enjoy the nightlife, people, peacefulness, and history of Pera.

Sonja Divé-Dahl

District Director, Turkey & Georgia Rezidor Hotel Group


What sets us apart from the other hotel chains is that we see ourselves as a family. We have lots of different concepts, and the main one is “Yes, I Can” service, where we allow our employees to correct every problem on the front line—they don't need to come to me to sort it out.


When we look at Turkey in general, the country is close to Europe, and there are many first-class airline company options. Moreover, there is good infrastructure and many tourist attractions with competitive rates for the MICE industry.


With its strategic location, focus on tourism, stable economy, strong transportation systems, and easy connection to other central locations worldwide via airways and trade connections, Turkey shows signs that growth will continue in the future.

Gerhard Struger

General Manager & Vice-President Turkey & Eastern Europe, Swissôtel The Bosphorous


Swissôtel was the first and still is the only hotel to operate boats on the Bosphorus. We operate daily cruises and also private hire, so you can have a ballroom on the Bosphorus. We were also the first to offer a private limousine service in town.


We are in the middle of a major investment. Any building that is 20 years old eventually needs to go through an overhaul, so we have rejuvenated some parts of the hotel. We revamped the two restaurants, a number of meeting rooms, and the spa, which is one of the largest in Turkey.


With an international conference you need to work with professionals in the field; there is no room for error when hosting the World Economic Forum, for example. The latest technology in this sense is outsourced.

Marcus Loevenforst

General Manager, The Istanbul EDITION


The hotel has been received extremely well, and we're just finishing our first year of operations. This is the second branch of The EDITION series to be opened in the world, after Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.


Our clients are generally coming to visit their firm's branches. This could be a Turkish executive from Ankara coming to visit offices here—60% are domestic business travelers and 40% international business travelers—or an international VP coming to oversee his or her Turkish operations.


Our location is ideal for business travelers. We're new, and the hotel offers rates that are much more competitive. We cater to the business traveler and provide exactly what they need, investing in software, staff, and facilities. We have meetings and functions rooms and can host banquets for up to 60 people.

Max Zanardi

General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul


In the 10 years that we have under our belt at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul, we have had the chance to carve a niche in the luxury market. Our customers are high-end travelers—they live intensely, working hard and discovering life at the same time.


At the moment, the most affluent travelers are the Brazilians—10 years ago it was the Japanese. Turkish Airlines is launching aggressive expansion plans to South America and it is now connected to Buenos Aires and São Paulo. We are following those markets; visas are not an issue.


Luxury travelers are younger, busier, more engaged with the environment, and less formal. People are more connected than ever and travel with lots of electronic devices. We are working on creating spaces and concepts that meet these needs better.

Michael Schlueter

General Manager, Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler


Our big markets include the UK, Germany, and the US, although the biggest market is still the Turkish market itself. All the international brands are represented in Turkey and they organize major events here. Weddings are also a big deal here, with hundreds invited.


Our restaurant has a large capacity and a lot of opportunities because it is 50% outside and 50% inside, and the attached walled garden can be used in winter or be opened up and folded away for the summer.


Apart from the restaurant, we have a rooftop bar with a spectacular view of the city and the Bosphorus, and in the evenings it will attract a lot of people. We have a beautiful 1,500-sqm spa area, and eight treatment rooms that are gorgeous and beautifully designed.