American Tourism to Turkey Rising as Hotel Infrastructure Expands

Posted on 22 September 2009

We have covered on this blog, the massive rise in British tourism to Turkey, which has averaged 20% for the last few years and is expected to hit 25% this year as the strong Euro damages the traditional favourites.

Tourism from America is also rising, in fact it grew 2.4% in the first quarter of this year compared to the first quarter of last year.

The growth in American tourism to Turkey sounds a lot smaller than that of British tourism, but we must remember that American tourism is a much larger market. 2.4% of all Americans travelling abroad is probably more, or certainly the same as 25% of all Brits travelling abroad.

A testament to the fact that Turkey will continue to attract increasing numbers of American tourists, as well as from around the world (almost at 30million per year) is the number of world leading hotel brands that Turkey boasts, including:

Mardan Palace, Ciragan Kempinski and Four Seasons. Europe’s first W opened in Istanbul last year, amid a group of 1870 Ottoman-style row houses. The Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul, where celebrities such as Agatha Christie were once guests, is set to reopen later this year. And Hilton Hotels Corporation has announced plans to open two Hilton Family properties in Bursa in Turkey’s northwest by 2011.

Marriott also has a presence in Istanbul, which it plans to expand as well as expansion into other areas.

Aboudi Asali, Dubai-based vice president-development for Marriott International, said, “We are still seeing relatively strong hotel development activity in Turkey, especially compared with other markets during the current global economic slowdown.” He said his brand expects to strengthen its presence in Istanbul, as well as look at other opportunities in the area for the upscale Marriott and high-end Marriott Executive Apartments brand for extended-stay travellers. He added, “We are pursuing other opportunities in secondary Turkish cities and popular resort markets.”

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