8 lessons from SAHIC 2016

At the South American Hotel Investment & Tourism Conference, held this week at the Hilton Colon Guayaquil in Ecuador, several hotel investment and development leaders shared their insights on the state of the industry in Latin America. 

Tourism officials from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador addressed the Conference and there were sessions specifically dedicated to financial education of how hotel investments in the region compare to other asset classes.

Here are some highlights from SAHIC 2016:

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1. Economist Orlando J. Ferreres said that for most of the countries in South America, inflation rates are decreasing, so that individual countries do not anticipate any ‘issues’ in the near future. Additionally, Ferreres stressed the interest in Latin America respective to tourism is significant. The total world arrival is up an average of 4 percent, and as such, it is not seeing a recession. 

2. Philippe Trapp, EVP hotel services luxury & upscale South America for AccorHotels, said that with the recent acquisition of Swissotel and Fairmont there are new brands cementing the company’s footprint in the region.

3. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Roland Mouly, VP development in Latin America, noted the expansion and openings of several brands across the region, including Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson, and Radisson RED in Brazil, Chile, Peru and Columbia.

4. Ted Middleton, SVP of development for the Americas at Hilton, announced a development pipeline of roughly 55 properties and more than 7,750 rooms in Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

5. Camilo Bolaños, VP real estate & development Latin America for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, said that there are 23 Hyatt hotels in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 17 new Hyatt hotels expected to open by 2018. The company is also planning grand openings including the Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro and new brand arrivals like the Hyatt Centric in Montevideo.

6. Craig Mueller, VP development for the Americas at InterContinental Hotels Group, shared plans to add nearly 6,000 rooms in Latin America over the next several years by opening hotels in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and the Bahamas by the end of 2017. Müeller added that in light of InterContinental’s 70th anniversary this year, IHG has planned growth for the brand in Latin America.

7. Marriott International’s CDO for the Caribbean and Latin America Region Laurent de Kousemaeker said that the “the formal acquisition of Starwood last week is ‘transformative’” for Marriott. This was a “huge deal” and a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” and now “the real work begins.”

8. Paulo Pena, president and managing director Latin America and Caribbean for Wyndham Hotel Group, said that Wyndham had a record year in 2015 as it opened 38 hotels with 5,089 guest rooms, a 90-percent increase for the company from the year prior in Latin America and the Caribbean. Pena also announced that TRYP by Wyndham, Ramada, Ramada Encore, Howard Johnson, and their flagship Wyndham Hotels and Resorts "tend to resonate the most" with Latin American travelers.

Pictured above, from left to right: Jonathan Worsley, Bench Events; Roland Mouly, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group; Philippe Trapp, Accor Hotels; Paulo Pena, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; Arturo Garcia Rosa, SAHIC; Ted Middleton, Hilton; Laurent de Kousemaeker, Marriott International; Craig Mueller, IHG.

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