EBRD lends €25 million to Turkish hotelier to support tourism recovery

By Olga Rosca

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©Barut Hotel

  • €25 million EBRD loan to extend the loan maturity profile of Turkish Riviera hotelier
  • Bartu Turizm is the only joint venture between the German TUI Group and a hotelier in Turkey
  • Turkish tourism seeing strong rebound from 2020 but still below pre-pandemic levels

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the recovery of Turkey’s tourism sector with a €25 million loan to Bartu Turizm Yatirimlari, a hotel joint venture between German travel and tourism company TUI Group and the Barut family in Turkey.

The company was set up in 2011 and operates four hotels in Antalya and Fethiye on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, with a total of 1,246 rooms. As with tourism and hospitality companies worldwide, Bartu Turizm was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to social and travel restrictions.

The EBRD’s long-term loan will refinance the company’s existing loans and extend the loan maturity profile of Bartu Turizm. The project will also support the company in addressing significant youth and female inclusion challenges in the Turkish tourism sector. Bartu Turizm will enhance its existing training with the launch of a new Gastronomy Academy and by opening up new training opportunities for young women and men in the hospitality and tourism sector in Turkey.

In addition, the project will support the promotion of culinary and agricultural tourism by organising day tours for hotel guests, focusing on local gastronomy and products.

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, said: “Turkish tourism has seen a strong rebound from 2020 but still remains well below pre-pandemic levels. The very timely EBRD loan will help Bartu Turizm to extend its loan maturity profile and enable it to give back to the local community by involving agricultural producers, as well as training young people in a key sector of the Turkish economy.”

Vlaho Kojakovic, EBRD Head of Property and Tourism, said: “The EBRD is delighted to support Bartu Turizm, a Blue Chip hotel operator with ambitious goals for inclusive and sustainable tourism in Turkey. The project, which is the first property and tourism deal in the Turkish tourism sector, will support the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by contributing to a sustainable and diverse tourism approach.”

Haydar Barut, Chairman of Bartu Turizm, said: “Despite the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Turkish tourism sector recovered strongly in 2021, thanks to the service quality and health and safety measures implemented as part of the safe tourism regulations. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Barut Hotels, we are honoured to be the first company in the Turkish tourism sector supported by the EBRD. We aim to promote local culinary and agricultural practices, enhance training opportunities for our employees, and increase partnerships with local authorities to contribute to the sustainability and competitiveness of the Turkish tourism sector.”

A leading institutional investor in Turkey, the EBRD has invested more than €14 billion through 361 projects in the country since 2009, with the overwhelming majority of those projects in the private sector.

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