Speaking at the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (CATHIC) on Wednesday Martin noted that Hilton Worldwide currently has 20 hotels in Turkey and signed nine more agreements in 2011 to open new hotels. He also announced that four more agreements had been signed since the beginning of 2012, saying: “We opened 5 percent of Hilton Worldwide hotels in Turkey in 2011, 20 hotels in total. We will open 13 hotels by the end of 2013 and we will have 7,000 rooms.”
Turkey, where East meets West, has being drawing much attention from international hotel chains, with major hotels announcing they will open hotels in the country. In 2011, 17 hotel chains, including Nikki Beach Hotels, MGM Resorts International, the Emaar Group, Bvlgari, Armani, Jumeriah, Shangri La Hotels and Resorts, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Rezidor Hotel Group, Wyndham Hotels and Soho House said they would open hotels in Turkey.
President of Hilton Worldwide for Europe Simon Vincent in addition said at the conference that the chain is focusing on China, India, the UK and Germany, noting that “currently we have 224 hotels across Europe and 117 hotels are in the process of being planned. By the end of 2013, we will have a 74,355-room capacity in Europe.”
Turkey plays a very symbolic role in the history of the Hilton family. Opened in 1955, the Hilton İstanbul was the first Hilton hotel to be built outside of North America and has gone on to be one of the city's landmark hotels and one of the Hilton family's flagships. In 2005, the hotel was bought by Aydın Doğan for $255 million.