Zug, Switzerland, June 18th 2013
Heinz Wehrle, Managing Director of Horwath HTL Switzerland and ski resort expert, outlined his vision for the Turkish ski industry at the prestigious Central Asian and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) being held in Istanbul last week. The conference, which was held at the Marmara Taksim square, brings together industry leaders from the world of hotel real estate investment and was sponsored by Horwath HTL. Horwath HTL is the world’s oldest and largest network of hotel, tourism and leisure consultants.
As it stands, Turkey has a national demand for ski of less that one percent, a figure that will have to grow substantially. There are currently eight open ski resorts, with five in development and twelve in planning, all of which indicates the huge potential for the industry. This compares with France that has XX resorts catering to ski and related activities.
Heinz Wehrle said “There is tremendous potential in Turkey, and I believe we haven’t seen demand scratch the surface of what the industry can deliver. When we look at resorts, we have four criteria for success that need to be met. Firstly, there has to be national and local demand, because International travellers alone will not nearly be enough. Secondly, there needs to be two seasons, something that many French and Swiss resorts work very hard at, creating events that drive demand during the summer months. Thirdly, there needs to be access, which means airlift and infrastructure and lastly the image of the resort, locally and internationally. Of all of these, the first and last are tied together and present the greatest challenge. Turkey presents itself mostly as a summer resort destination and this is where the majority of travel is geared. If they can deliver some of that demand to ski and raise the profile just a small amount, then ski tourism in a country that size and with slopes that good will be a tremendous success.”