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Hotel magnate to invest in Turkey

Turkish property developer and hotel owner, Serdar Bilgili, has revealed plans to build between 10 and 15 hotels in East Turkey over the next five years and is looking to secure an international chain to manage them.

Turkish property developer and hotel owner, Serdar Bilgili, has revealed plans to build between 10 and 15 hotels in East Turkey over the next five years and is looking to secure an international chain to manage them.

“Most of Turkey’s industry is in the Eastern part of the country, but there are not many international hotels there,” he told ATN.

“I am looking to build hotels with about 100 to 150 rooms, in places such as Ankara, and I would like to work with an international hotel company.”

Bilgili, who is chairman of Turkish development company, Akaretler Tourism Investments A.S., was speaking to ATN after signing a deal with W Hotels Worldwide to build the W Istanbul.

The property, which is scheduled to open in late 2007, is Bilgili’s fourth hotel venture; he already owns the Radisson SAS Conference & Airport Hotel Istanbul, the boutique 16-room Ajia hotel, located on the banks of the Bosphorus, as well as another a “small hotel” in East Turkey.

“I believe there is room for 30 or 40 more hotels in Istanbul,” said Bilgili. “Turkey will soon enter the EU and we are expecting a boom in the economy. We have economic stability, the real estate market is going crazy, and everyone is looking for business opportunities in Istanbul.”

He said the W Istanbul would make its mark as the only lifestyle hotel in the Turkish capital to date, and that competition from other newcomers such as the Four Seasons, which is being built nearby, would pose no threat.

“We cater to completely different markets. We will attract the same type of clients that W attracts worldwide; usually the middle aged business people and the lifestyle customer who is looking to be part of the scene in the country, rather than a tourist,” he explained.

The hotel is being built in the Besiktas district of Istanbul, known for its restaurants, bars and cafes. It is close to the Bosphorus Strait and Nisantasi, the city’s most fashionable shopping district.

The Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Old City and the Blue Mosque are also in close proximity.

“Istanbul is one of the most eclectic cities in the world; it is the cross point between continents, religion, art and music and it is therefore a great location for a lifestyle hotel such as the W,” said Bilgili.

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