The Qatar Hotel Association (QHA) held its first virtual bilateral meeting with the Association of Turkish Tourism Investors (TTYD) on Saturday as part of its mission to form a global network with international partners in the hotel and hospitality industry.
The meeting was attended by QHA President Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani and TTYD President Oya Narin. Turkish Ambassador Mehmet Mustafa Goksu and Levent Sadik Kucukdaban, Country Advisor of the Turkish Presidency’s Investment Office in Doha, were also present at the meeting.
Omar Alfardan, QHA second deputy to the president; Sheikh Hamad bin Mohamed bin Fahd al-Thani, secretary general of the QHA; Sheikh Fahad bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, founding member; Sheikh Mohamed ben Faisal ben Qassim al-Thani, founding member; and Sheikh Ahmed al-Thani of Katara Hospitality, as well as Deputy Director General of QBA, Sarah Abdullah, attended the meeting.
The two entities introduced their respective members and discussed the situation of the hotel sector in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges facing the sector. The two sides also discussed investment projects and potential cooperation, as well as the necessary steps for their implementation.
Sheikh Faisal said that the launch of the first bilateral meeting reflected the strength of Turkish-Qatari relations and the real interest of Qatari businessmen in developing trade and economic relations with their counterparts in Turkey, especially in the field of hospitality and tourism.
He said the QHA seeks to promote Qatar’s hotel sector and promote the country as a tourism investment destination.
Narin said that the Turkish Tourism Investors Association was established in 1988 as a non-governmental organization to become the voice of tourism investors. It is the only trade organization that covers all tourism and travel activities in Turkey, she said, noting that the association includes high-level members of large Turkish companies operating in the sector.
Sheikh Faisal also spoke briefly about the group of hotels he owns inside and outside of Qatar, pointing out that he started his investments in the hotel sector in Turkey three years ago and his aspiration to explore other investment opportunities there.
Alfardan spoke about the different sectors covered by the holding company, referring to the hotel sector and the group’s investments in this sector at local and international level. For his part, Sheikh Fahad spoke about his company that owns the Four Seasons hotel in Qatar, as well as Sheikh Hamad as the owner of the Intercontinental hotel in Doha, in addition to Sheikh Ahmed, a Qatari international company that owns, operator and developer of hotels.
The members of the TTYD Board of Directors presented the different companies and sectors they represent. Narin introduced herself as the president of Marti Hotels and Marinas, and Mehmet Tevfik Nane is vice president of TTYD and also president and CEO of Pegasus Airlines, while Pelin Akin Özalp is a member of the board of Akfen Holding Company. .
The other members of the board of directors present at the meeting are Omer Tosun, president and founder of Indigo Group; Alper Aksoy, representative of Aksoy Contracting and Trading Company; Kas? M Zoto, founder and president of Armada Hotel; Ece Gurçay, owner of the Cactus hotel; Mehmet Gocen, member of the board of directors of Gocay Construction and Contracting; Ayla Heyfegil, owner of Servotel Corporation; Giray Boranms, director of Bilgili Holding BLG Capital; and Hale Atlan, General Secretary of TTYD.
Goksu praised the strength of Turkish-Qatari relations, saying the meeting is an important milestone for both entities in the hotel and hospitality industry.
During the meeting, the Turkish team made a presentation which included information about the association and its members and their investments in accommodation, marinas, yachts, land and air transport, tour management, tourist shopping centers, leisure and recreation facilities and golf courses.
The total investment portfolio was around $ 60 billion, which is a large part of private investment in tourism in Turkey. In addition, members have built and operate numerous tourist facilities in various countries, mainly in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Central Europe, the Middle East and the Balkans.
The presentation also provided information on the tourism sector in Turkey, which hosted 52 million people with a total income of $ 34.5 billion. Turkey is also the sixth favorite tourist destination and has 463 blue flag beaches.
QHA members presented an overview of the association as the first leading private entity in the hospitality and tourism sector in Qatar that functions as a platform for hotel owners and tourism establishments in Qatar to exchange views, participate in the development of strategies and laws, and launch initiatives and events for the development of member institutions of the association and the hotel sector. The number of QHA member institutions has reached approximately 91 hotels. Membership was recently opened to all hotels and institutions concerned.
Participants also discussed the most significant challenges facing the sector in light of the current economic conditions the world is going through due to the pandemic, which poses a major challenge for the hotel sector and its employees, the investment climate. sector, as well as the measures that have been taken by different organizations that sponsor the hotel sector in Turkey and some international institutions.
They also discussed the opportunities for joint cooperation and the “great potential” that Turkey and Qatar have to develop joint projects in the tourism sector. The meeting underlined the importance of the cooperation of various economic institutions, private sector companies and businessmen in this sector to overcome the impact of the current crisis and support the efforts of governments to restore the recovery of the economy. local and global.
At the end of the meeting, the Turkish Association of Tourism Investors invited the QHA to participate in the “Tourism Investment Forum” next year to benefit from the presence of all international investors in the hotel and tourism sector, financial institutions, banks and funds. Sheikh Faisal also invited members of the Turkish association to visit Doha and discuss potential investment opportunities available.