Middle East and Africa Hotel Pulse: Turkey Faces Tax Hikes

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Read the latest news from around the Middle East Africa region.

Speaking with Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker, Reda Faceh, Accor’s vice president of development in Northern and Western Africa, said the region has significant growth potential, particularly with extended-stay hotels and branded residences.

He noted the costs of building and borrowing remain a barrier to hotel development in Africa.

“The rates are very high, and the terms of duration are very short, which puts high pressure on the early years of the operation of the hotel. Also, the development costs are much higher than in Europe — for example, by 40% to 50% in some occasions,” he said.

Turkish officials have announced a two-percentage-point increase in the country’s value-added tax and an increase on the tax on bank consumer loans in an effort to stem a growing budget deficit, Reuters reports.

“Reducing the budget deficit is the aim of the latest increase in taxes and fees, and some other steps to ensure fiscal discipline are on the agenda too. Spending cuts are planned as well,” a senior official said.

HNN’s Terence Baker held a question-and-answer session with the newly appointed international president of Les Clefs D’Or, Randy Santos. In addition to leading the worldwide concierge association, Santos serves as chief concierge for the 362-room Fairmont Doha in Qatar.

He said a big part of his job is having his finger on the pulse.

“Life as a concierge is a continuous education,” he said. “You never stop learning, and it’s important to understand that your knowledge is your power in this discipline. The greatest lesson I have learned is to find out what is going on in the city in which you work before it is officially announced. That way, you can really supply your guests with the insider information that they can’t find anywhere else.”

Reuters reports officials with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are expecting strong oil demand in 2024, although projections are likely to be slightly lower than 2023.

“OPEC’s forecast for 2024 will likely be lower than the growth it expects for this year of 2.35 million barrels per day, or 2.4%, an abnormally high rate as the world moves out of the coronavirus pandemic,” Reuters reports. “Even so, it would still be well above the annual average of the past decade with the exception of the pandemic years and above predictions by the International Energy Agency, which sees a major slowdown in demand growth next year to 860,000 bpd.”

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