The Shangri-La Bosphorus Hotel: Extending the famed Shangri-La hospitality to Turkey

Publication Type


Year Completed



The case is set in May 11, 2013, when the Shangri-La Bosphorus Hotel in Istanbul was inaugurated. The Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts was Asia Pacific's leading luxury hotel group and globally regarded as one of the finest hotel ownership and management companies. The group had opened its first deluxe hotel in Singapore in 1971, and over the next 40 years or so had grown into a chain of 82 hotels and resorts throughout Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East, with an inventory of over 34,000 rooms. In 2009, Shangri-La ventured into Europe, opening the first Shangri-La hotel in Paris. Its entry into Turkey was the group’s second foray into the European market. There had been many challenges in launching the hotel. This included delays in the completion of the project, and also putting together a team that could deliver the customer service Shangri-La was renowned for. On-going retention and development of the employees too was recognised as a key challenge. The Shangri-La brand was not very well known in the highly competitive Turkish and neighbouring markets, and so brand awareness had to be enhanced.

How should Shangri-La Bosphorus be positioned against its competitors, such as the Four Seasons and the Kempinski? In the long-term, what would drive the growth of the hotel, such that it would become the top choice for travellers to Istanbul? Over and above, the financial viability of the Bosphorus project was of key importance to the group and its partners. How would it be possible for the group to break-even in the shortest possible time?

Through this case, students would have an opportunity to understand the challenges that the Shangri-La Group faced when it entered new markets, where the brand was not well known. Students will learn to explain marketing and positioning strategies, and also use key concepts in calculating break-even for a new hotel.


Istanbul, hotel, entry strategy, break-even analysis, RevPar, brand posistioning, hospitality, customer service, talent development, brand awareness


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Marketing | Strategic Management Policy | Tourism and Travel

Research Areas


Data Source

Field Research



Geographic Coverage


Temporal Coverage


Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

Case ID



SMU Faculty/Staff can download the case and teaching note with your SMU login ID and Password via the following links:

For purchase of the case and supplementary materials via The Case Center, please access the following links: