2014 Brasil Hospitality Investment Conference declared a success


brazilNEW YORK (May 22, 2014) ─ The 2014 Brasil Hospitality Investment Conference (BHIC), produced by Questex Hospitality + Travel, came to a successful close this month after bringing together nearly 200 global hospitality executives and investment professionals to explore how Brazilian companies can attract funding, manage risk and expand their brands at a global level.
The event, held May 5 at the Pullman Ibirapuera hotel in Sao Paulo, attracted senior executives from leading companies including Banyan Tree Holdings Limited, Wyndham Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., Accor Hotels Worldwide, Four Seasons Hotels Ltd., Hard Rock International, Sana Hotels, La Quinta Worldwide, Yoo Hotels and Louvre Hotels Group, among others, all confirming their interest in investing in Brazil and Latin America.
Among the highlights, Wyndham Worldwide representatives celebrated 40 years of RCI, its vacation exchange division, by singing “Happy Birthday” and giving out cake and cupcakes. RCI was established in 1974, pioneering the concept of vacation exchange and expanding the travel opportunities available to timeshare owners. The company has since grown to become the leader in the industry with nearly 4,500 affiliated resorts and approximately 3.7 million subscribing members.
Hard Rock International announced an investment of $271 million (600 million Brazilian Real) to develop five hotels by 2020 in principal urban markets including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and two other cities with its Brazilian partner, FISA Future Investimentos.
A study presented at the event by Horwath HTL expressed optimism regarding the growth and financial performance of Brazil’s hotel industry, particularly in secondary and tertiary cities – those with 80,000 to 1 million in population.  Michael Schnurle, Horwath HTL director for Brazil, said all of the 260 secondary and tertiary cities researched experienced average annual gross domestic product growth above 10 percent during the last eight years. Sixty-eight percent of those cities “are lacking investment from hotel groups,” he said. “Economy hotels for business are the main type of hotels lacking presence in these cities.”
Representatives of SB Architects, EDSA, VOA, NLA and Unique discussed the importance of adhering to local culture and guest needs on a panel entitled, Inexperience of Guest Experience in Brazil: Why Design Matters.
A session concerning alternative investments included representatives of WTS International, Gansevoort, Maksoud and others who discussed the introduction of spas, extended-stay hotels and eco-friendly projects to the Brazilian hospitality market.
Natura, a Brazilian cosmetics company, expressed interest in the hospitality market and promoted its sustainable products.
BHIC is produced annually by Questex Hospitality + Travel as part of its International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) Summit Series in partnership with BSH International, Brazil’s leading hospitality investment expert.
The event is designed to connect government representatives, domestic and international investors, developers, senior hospitality professionals, real estate investors, tourism intermediaries and finance companies together in a global setting to facilitate and encourage business networking and deal-making.
“Questex is privileged to have a part in promoting awareness of this thriving country through the Brasil Hospitality Investment Conference, which serves as a catalyst for foreign investment and stimulating relationships among top industry professionals,” said Marilyn McHugh, Questex Hospitality + Travel vice president of global events, who co-chairs BHIC.
Analysts say Brazil is entering a hotel boom, driven by the combination of increasing domestic travel and preparations for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, to be hosted in multiple cities across the country, and the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro.
For more information about BHIC, go to www.ihifbrasil.com or contact Chelsea Patriquin, conference manager, at [email protected]. For more information on the IHIF Summit Series, visit www.ihif.com