Ismet Öztanık, Founder of Avantgarde Collection / Lucis Initiative, made noteworthy statements regarding the group's new investments, their hotel management company and what offer to investors.

"We separated brands as urban and refined"

 
Öztanık, who operates five hotels under the Avantgarde Collection umbrella (three in Istanbul, and one each in Bodrum and Cappadocia) as Founder of Lucis Initiative, stated that they respond to the growing luxury trend in the market by dividing their hotels into two brands. Ismet Öztanık mentioned that they will operate under Avantgarde Urban in city hotels and under Avantgarde Refined in luxury hotels in exceptional locations.


"We set out to be an alternative to international hotel brands"

Öztanık noted that their second area of concentration is Lucis Hospitality Management, which currently houses two properties not owned by themselves. He stated, "In our accommodation sector journey that started in the 1990s, we used to operate our own properties, but we set out to be an alternative to international hotel brands that cover almost every segment in the market. We have a business model that offers a more empathetic approach with investors, taking into account the investor's trust and income expectations in this field."

Opening a luxury 'tourism complex' in Cappadocia

Öztanık expressed that they have acquired another plot of land next to the old Alfina Hotel, one of the oldest cave hotels in Cappadocia. He shared the following information about the facility, which is planned to open in March of the next year:

"We embarked on this project with a highly successful architect in the field, Efe Haydar. The facility is more than just a hotel. Because it is a complex with 12 separate sections within it. The facility includes 50 cave rooms, 3 dining areas, a large wellness area that is much needed in Cappadocia, various event spaces for hosting events, and a bar and lounge area. Additionally, we are turning one of the stone structures into an open-air gallery by working with reputable curators and artists."

"It cost us 13 million dollars"

When designing the hotel, we went for a design that would welcome guests from outside the hotel as much as the hotel guests themselves. The facility has very significant social areas. The acquisition and construction of this facility cost us 13 million dollars. 8 million dollars of this was for the acquisition and 5 million dollars for the construction expenses."

"We completely renovated Avantgarde Yalıkavak"

Ismet Öztanık announced that they also underwent a significant renovation at the Yalıkavak facility in Bodrum. He explained that the renovation at this facility was managed by Erdal Dalkılıç, the General Coordinator of Avantgarde Hotels, and that they worked with Wangan Studio. Reminding that they opened Avantgarde Yalıkavak in 2012, Öztanık said, "Taking into account the growing demand for high-level luxury products, we set out thinking, 'What can we add to Avantgarde's service?' One of our goals was to differentiate our hotel in Cappadocia and Yalıkavak from our other hotels as a brand positioning. Therefore, in both Cappadocia and Yalıkavak, we gathered our hotels under the Avantgarde Refined brand. In Avantgarde Yalıkavak, we worked with a Turkish architectural office named Wangan, which won the Reddot award. Last year, we completely renovated our rooms, and this year, we are renovating all the common areas of our hotel, including the exterior and lobby. We will also enter into brand partnerships for three different dining venues inside."

The company's new investments

Ismet Öztanık, mentioning that they are open to new investments, stated that they are in the final stages of two contracts in Istanbul under the brand Lucis Hospitality Management. Öztanık said, "We are a group that focused the best locations. One of the two facilities in Istanbul in the final stages is located in Sultanahmet, and the other is in the Beyoğlu area. Another investment of ours in Istanbul is ongoing. We are building a facility with the 'service apartment' concept at the intersection from Nişantaşı to Bomonti, at the far end of Rumeli Avenue. The project, which has over 100 accommodation units, will be operational in 2-2.5 years. This is also the biggest project in our family history in terms of real estate. Under the Avantgarde Collection brand, we will develop a new brand in this segment."

What does Lucis Hospitality Management promise to investors?

Ismet Öztanık responded to the question of "how Lucis Hospitality Management will convince investors against the backdrop of international brands hard competition, their widespread sales channels and brand recognition?" with the following answer:

But Türkiye, that hosts 52 million tourists, how can there be so few hotel brands? International brands bring a know-how from abroad and include you in the international reservation network. They promise an advantage in this regard. There is nothing else. There are also approaches by brands to make this business more complicated than it actually is. On the other hand, do they promise more income to the investor? No. I, who have a dynamic structure and have experienced various crises in Türkiye, know very well what the investor needs both in good times and in force majeure situations. In other words, I must be able to make the investor earn something even in the worst conditions and meet their risks and expectations. So, as Avantgarde, I am sitting at the table with a revenue model, even if it is minimal. This is a model that none of them have. All things are expressed with word 'percentage' in their business model. Foreign chains continue to receive their shares even in the worst conditions. The investor also says, 'I'm taking all the risk, when are you going to bare your neck?' Right now, the biggest expectation of the investor is for something to enter their pocket even in the worst conditions, and we guarantee that.

"We have a flexible model"

We have a flexible model that does not dictate any design or service package to the investor, without saying, 'You will work with this many people,' without separating costs here and costs there. We also look at it from the investor's perspective. For example, we don't say that 130 people will work in the hotel. Because the hotel can initially operate with 50 people. Depending on the occupancy, it can go up to 80 people, and on its best days, it can reach 130 people. So, we operate with a completely empathetic model in both investment and operating expenses, as well as in minimum income guarantees.

Avantgarde has a very serious online team in-house. This team handles all online sales channels, integration with online tour operators, GDS codes... In short, all integrations you can think of are available at Avantgarde. In addition, we regularly participate in exhibitions, road shows, and promotional activities in source markets abroad. We are already a company that does this business at global standards.

Because we are a group that knows very well how global chains do this business, has internalized it, and applies hotel management at global standards, we know very well what we can do in this competition."

Editor: Savaş Daş