Along with the advent of globalization, the hospitality industry has been one area of commerce that has grown throughout the years. At present, hotels, motels and inns have grown significantly not only in urban areas but in rural areas as well. Given these facts, it is inevitable that Addition inns chain of hotels would also look into venturing into other areas in the globe. This research will focus on the hospitality industry as well as the issues involved. The focus will mainly be on the feasibility of establishing a hotel in the Antalya/Belek region of Turkey and the specific factors that the said region possesses.
OVERVIEW OF THE MAIN CONTENT
The main content of the research will focus on the issues confronting the hospitality industry all over the world to give the reader a background on what aspects are applicable in the Antalya/Belek region of Turkey. The paper will also discuss the differences and similarities of hotel operations throughout the world to be able to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that each region present to the international operator. This process will assess the relative merits of expanding in one region over another.
Historical development of the hospitality industry Lodging places for travelers probably first developed along road and travel routes. In order to meet the needs of travelers, the location and size of hotels changed to reflect new modes of transportation. As the stagecoach and horse gave way to the railroad, the roadside tavern was replaced by the large city hotel which was often located adjacent to railroad stations. As cities grew larger and volume of train travel increased, larger and more elaborate hotels were built in all the major cities.
FRAMEWORK OF MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY As hotels have grown larger, hotel management has become increasingly specialized and actively sought to tailor its services to their guests which include businessmen, students, tourists and others. The growth in the hospitality industry is evidenced by the increase in the number of schools which offer hospitality management courses. What started as a technical course before has now grown into a college course where the intricate details of hospitality management are specifically discussed.
Management objectives focus mainly on providing the utmost service to the guests which include security and comfort – two of the most important aspects in the hospitality industry. At the recent ISHC Annual Conference held in San Diego, California, the Top Ten Global Issues and Challenges in the Hospitality Industry for 2006 were discussed. These issues included: 1. Changing Labor Conditions, 2. Escalating Operating Costs, 3. Impact of Rising Energy Costs on Consumer Travel & Hotel Demand.
Escalating Renovation and Construction Costs, 5. Havoc from Recent Natural Disasters, 6. Growing Global Uncertainly About Safety and Security, 7. Evolving Customer Expectations, 8. Condo-hotels Growing Rapidly, 9. Accelerating Change and Merging of Technologies and 10. Increasing Consolidation of Hotel Brands and Companies. OVERVIEW OF THE REGION OF TURKEY(ANTALYA BELEK) Modern Turkey was founded in 1923. It is a Eurasian country with its Eastern and Western traits. It also spans two continents.
After a period of one-party rule, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians. One of the more developed regions in Turkey is the Antalya/Belek region, popularly referred to as the “Turkish Riviera”. The 20,815 square km province, with a population of just 800,000 permanent residents, swells by an astounding six million visitors during the high season.
That’s more than a quarter of all visitors to Turkey, which is expected to double its tourist traffic in 2005 to 20 million. Developers are busily keeping pace, erecting an astounding 42 new hotels throughout Antalya province this year. Antalya’s municipalities too are spending heavily on development of public parks and improvement of the infrastructure, most notably with a new extension to the international airport terminal, new highways and underpasses. According to official figures, foreign real estate purchases accounted for $1. 34 billion, more than half of the total foreign direct investment in Turkey in 2004.
The Turkish government, realizing the financial potential of this phenomenon, continues to make it easier for non-Turks to own property. Last year non-natives – mostly British and Dutch — purchased around 5,000 pieces of real estate in Turkey at a value of more than $1 billion. Not surprisingly, there are multiple factors contributing to this development boom. Over the last few years the government has made strides to improve infrastructure, stabilize the economy and simplify visa procedures—all of which are perhaps driven, at least in part, by Turkey’s desire to become a member of the European Union.
One of the most important issues for any growing destination is airlift, and in the last two years alone, the country has made numerous advances, including upgrades to its existing airports, the introduction of the first international budget airline into the market, five new domestic carriers and talks of a new airport on the Asia side of Istanbul. ADDRESSING THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY ISSUES IN THE REGION OF TURKEY Keeping in mind the ten issues that the hospitality industry now faces, it is clear that some of the said issues are relevant to Turkey.
One important issue is the changing labor conditions. In a study conducted by the World Bank, Population growth has outpaced employment growth for many years in Turkey. Moreover, a significant number of women who are not working are not looking for employment, a principal reason for the low labor force participation rates. Current labor market regulations in the region are implicitly designed for a labor force that consists of one full-time wage earner per family who stays in the same job for the entire working life.
This would be a big factor to consider in expanding in the region. The question is not whether there will be people available for the jobs that the hotel has to offer but whether they are willing to work. “The influx of hotel rooms over the last few years coupled with the future developments—especially in the Mediterranean region—may result in an oversupply situation,” Theodor Kubak, CEO of Servus International, a hospitality consulting firm based in Istanbul, cautions. He adds that along with increased supply comes the challenge of finding qualified staff.
“Especially the junior and midmanagement positions,” he says, adding that the idea of quality assurance has also been taken on in Turkey to make sure hotels are up to international service standards. Koray Yetik, managing director of local hotel chain Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International, agrees that labor is the biggest challenge. “Since there is a substantial increase in room supply in the hotel market in Turkey, to my mind the biggest operational challenge is, and will be, to find qualified, experienced managers and staff that can serve to the guests,” Yetik says.
“It is still extremely difficult to find guest-oriented general managers. ” Another applicable issue would be the construction costs in Turkey. Stabilizing macro-economic conditions have encouraged increased consumer spending, which has led to additional demand for shopping malls and retail establishments. It is therefore no surprise Turkey’s construction industry ranks third in importance after textile and agriculture. Moreover, Turkey’s chief imports include luxury products such as accessories, flooring, wallpapers, prefabricated door panels or plumbing fixtures to name a few.
The prevalent natural disasters which plague Turkey are earthquakes and floods. Although the government has been making steps in preparing for the said natural disasters, they still lack the proper equipment to detect the said disasters. These disasters, in particular, are very crucial in the hospitality industry since it will indeed affect the kind of service the hotel should offer its guests. However, the region of Antalya is most of the time spared from these disasters. On average, Antalya is rain-free 300 days out of the year.
Lastly, one important aspect to address is the security in Turkey. The conflict in the Middle East, although Turkey is not a party thereto, has affected the region perception wise. The challenge of public perception is due in part to media attention regarding the on-going threat of violence from militant groups and its proximity to the Middle East. Hoteliers, however, believe tourism promotion is the way to counter these fears. As the government’s 2005 “Tourism Master Plan” states: “Tourism must be taken up as a national policy priority, supported by all sectors, groups and organizations.
” Taking into consideration the issues that concerns the Antalya/Belek region of Turkey, it is clear that the region is indeed ready for growth in the hospitality industry. It does not only have the materials for construction but it has a huge potential for employment. The active participation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in the Region has also greatly helped in inviting tourists to visit the region and enjoy the different festivals that they have to offer.
Moreover, throughout history, Turkey, due to her location, her important strategic position, and her extensive coastline which make her a neighbor to the entire world, has been an epicenter of major trade and migration routes. Although the biggest challenge is labor, the fact that almost six million visitors during the high season visit it every year makes such one challenge worth overcoming. “Location, location, location” are the three magic words of real estate developers and buyers and of course the most desirable – and most expensive — location in Antalya is near or on the beach.
This fact indeed makes her a very good target for expansion.
Sources: Global Hospitality Industry Magazine – [Sep. – Oct. , 2006] 21 January, 2006 ISHC Scott T. Young, Winter Nie,: Managing Global Operations: Cultural and Technical Success Factors.. Publisher: Quorum Books. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1996. Page Number: 6 http://www. turkey-now. org Derek Gale, Karyn Strauss, Discovering Turkey, http://www. hotels. com 2006