Breaking News from SAHIC 2015

There were so many thoughts that were announced in 2015 SAHIC! Here I share another list of must items for all who are engaged in one way or another in the Hotel and Tourism business and related Real-Estate industry projects in the South America:

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PHOTO CAPTION: SAHIC Chairman Arturo Garcia Rosa and Cuban executives proudly announced the very first Cuban Hotel Investment Educational Summit (CHIES) scheduled for 2016 in Havana, Cuba. (More information forthcoming).   Pictured from left to right:  Eduardo J. Acosta de Arriba, President and CEO of Gran Caribe Hotel Group; Arturo Garcia Rosa, Chairman of SAHIC and of CHIES (Cuba Hospitality Investment Educational Summit); Luis Miguel Diaz Sanchez, Cuba Vice Minister of Tourism;  Yamily Aldama Valdez, President and CEO of Cubanacan Hotel Group; Raniel Levya Medina, Vice President of Business Development, Gaviota Hotel Group and Carlos M. Latuff Carmenate, President and CEO – Gaviota Hotel Group.

  • At a press conference held during SAHIC, Patrick Mendes, Chief Executive Officer South America, AccorHotels shared that “we currently have three hotels in operation (Novotel Lima, Novotel Cusco, and Ibis Larco Miraflores) and five in the pipeline in Lima (Ibis and Novotel in Surco, Ibis in Lince, Ibis in Reducto – Miraflores), plus a Novotel near Jorge Chávez Airport. In Cusco we are building an Ibis Style. These nine hotels will be operational in the next three years.” The Accor Hotels Group announced that the company is considering new projects and negotiating with third-party investors for the construction of at least five more hotels in Lima and another four in the interior of the country, with the goal of introducing brands like Mercure, Pullman, Sofitel, Ibis Styles, and Ibis Budget, based on each market’s needs.
  • Hyatt Corporation is also expanding in Latin America. In June 2015, Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen opened in Mexico, as the brand’s first hotel in the country. Grand Hyatt will inaugurate its next hotel in Brazil by the end of December/beginning of January 2016. Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro will feature 436 rooms and will have a privileged location in the heart of the prestigious and exclusive Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. By 2017, Grand Hyatt will also debut in Colombia with the opening of the Grand Hyatt Bogotá. And the first Hyatt Regency hotel will make its debut in the country in 2016 with Hyatt Regency Cartagena.
  • Meliá Hotels International explained that the company’s strong presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, across 16 countries, is leading the group to diversify its brand portfolio and ensure a healthy balance between urban and resort developments as well as increasing its exposure to management contracts. According to Pablo Gonzalez, Director of Development, Americas, “Meliá Hotels International is pursuing the development of a strong footprint across major Caribbean destinations with the new leisure concepts of our Sol Hotels brand, as well as with our premium Paradisus and upscale Meliá Hotels & Resorts brands. At the same time, we are seeking to increase the presence of our full-serviced Meliá Hotels & Resorts and the urban lifestyle Innside by Meliá in major urban destinations across South America and in major Mexican cities.”
  • Luis Miguel Diaz Sanchez, the Vice Minister of Tourism for the country of Cuba, attended SAHIC, marking the very first hospitality attended by participating Cuban executives. He was accompanied by Carlos Latuff Carmenate, President & CEO, Gaviota Hotel Group; Yamily Aldama Valdez, President & CEO, Cubanacan Hotel Group; Eduardo Acosta de Arriba, President & CEO, Gran Caribe Hotel Group; and Raniel Leiva Medina, VP of Business Development, Gaviota Hotel Group. The Cuban panelists shared the following data with SAHIC attendees:

    – Tourist arrivals in the island average 3 million per year, and by the end of 2015, this figure is expected to increase to 3.5 million;
    – Cuba’s population is well-educated and there are no security-related issues in the country;
    – The country is proud of its unparalleled cultural and historic heritage;
    – There are 10 UNESCO world heritage sites in Cuba, 14 national parks, 257 national monuments, and 15 tourist regions, of which 8 are priority-development areas;
    – There are 63,000 guest rooms;  33% of these rooms are in the Varadero Peninsula;
    – The country anticipates an annual increase of 5.6% in hotel supply. The Gaviota Group currently features 25,000 rooms, and it has plans to open 4,000 new rooms per year beginning 2017, until it totals 53,000 rooms by 2024. Similarly, Cubanacan, has plans to launch nine new hotels. And Gran Caribe has more than 12,000 rooms, with plans to reach 19,000 rooms by 2020. Currently, it is building several new hotels with different investors.

  • The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador has announced that 30 tourism projects are expected to be developed with an investment of USD $1.6 billion from national and foreign capital. With the aim of easing investment in tourism projects in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has launched the «” program offering a number of advantages: access to the Investor Information System, with relevant data on investment costs, indicators, statistics, national formalities, along with ongoing assistance during the investment process including access to a large portfolio of private and public projects, contacts with local and foreign partners, agenda organization and quick and confidential responses to inquires that may facilitate the investment process.
  • GHL Hotels, announced the opening of the GHL Hotel Montería, in Cordoba, Colombia. This first-class Museum Hotel features 92 guest rooms and five function rooms. GHL hotels Chief Marketing Officer Juan Rodriguez Medina, detailed information about the company’s strong presence throughout Latin America, with hotels in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Panama, Curaçao, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Its current portfolio includes 70 operating hotels, suites and convention centers.
  • The Date and Venue for SAHIC 2016, was announced:  September 26-27, 2016 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.