(from left to right) Paulo Pena, President and Managing Director for Latin America & Caribbean, Wyndham Hotel Group; Jorge Giannattasio, Senior Vice president and Chief of Latin America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; Laurent de Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer of the Caribbean & Latin America Region, Marriott International; Arturo Garcia Rosa, President SAHIC; Ted Middleton, Senior Vice President of Development The Americas, Hilton Worldwide; David Berg, Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Hospitality Group; and Patrick Mendes, Chief Executive Officer South America, Accor Hotels — Photo by SAHIC - Latin American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conferences

During an Information-packed two days, more than 350 delegates from 20 countries gathered at the South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (SAHIC). Renowned as the premier event for the hospitality industry in the region, SAHIC is known throughout the hotel investment world as the place where "deals get done." SAHIC has evolved into the must-attend event for anyone with hospitality development interests in the region, and where international brands share their breaking news.This year's event was no exception. News from SAHIC 2015 features an impressive array of industry statistics and trends:

  • According Arturo Garcia Rosa, President and Founder of SAHIC, Brazil and Argentina are the two South American countries witnessing the strongest international tourist arrivals from 2006 through 2014. Ecuador witnessed a substantial increase in international tourism arrivals from 2010 through 2014; and South America received nearly as many international arrivals as an entire continent as the country of Mexico.
  • At a press conference held during SAHIC, David Berg, Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Hospitality Group announced that Brazil will offer his company great opportunities for development. "For Carlson Rezidor, we intend to accelerate our pace of growth with Radisson new builds and conversions and focus on midscale with Park Inn by Radisson. We will continue to focus on strong relationship with our partner, Atlantica Hotels International, through increased support, flexibility and commitment to participate in the cost of securing new assets and repositioning them. Selectively, we will be seeking to establish the Radisson Blu brand in international gateways."
  • Ted Middleton, Senior Vice President of Development of The Americas for Hilton Worldwide explained that approximately 75% of the projects in the Hilton pipeline in the region are focused service, primarily Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn properties. "Both brands have proven to be successful in attracting developers and travelers, particularly where a full-service product is not the ideal fit for the market. However, we are seeing continued interest in our flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand and DoubleTree by Hilton due to recognition in the region, as well as rising interest in our luxury and lifestyle sectors and all- suite brands, thanks to Curio." Curio is debuting its first hotel in Latin America.
  • Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for the Caribbean and Latin America Region Laurent de Kousemeaker shared that Marriott's focus is on brand differentiation in the region. "While the Marriott name itself has worldwide recognition, the diversity of our brands is not always clear in Latin America. We will be introducing new brands in the region, to appeal to different markets, different economic levels, and to create new options for travelers - with our AC, Residence Inn, and Fairfield brands."
  • At Starwood, we recognize that there are so many great independent hotels around the globe and so we launched our tenth brand - the Tribute Portfolio," explains Jorge Gianattasio, Senior Vice President and Chief of Latin America Operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "In Latin America, nearly 65% of all hotels in Latin America are unbranded (40% in the U.S.). And, while not all independent hotels are in the upper-upscale category required to be affiliated with Starwood, there are many exciting independent hotels in unique and non-traditional destinations which in fact are a perfect fit, and that's where we want to focus." He goes on to clarify that Tribute will enable independent hotels who become affiliated to the brand to take advantage of the Starwood global sales network and booking channels, while also reaching out to more than 20 million SPG members while maintaining their unique identity and remaining independent.
  • Wyndham Hotel Group's President of Development for Latin America and Caribbean Paulo Pena shared that the company's strong presence in Latin America and the Caribbean has "grown this year to 146 hotels led by openings in Brazil and Peru and under the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® and TRYP by Wyndham® brands. The company's portfolio in the region is now represented by more than 17,000 rooms across 17 countries and territories under its Wyndham Grand®, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Wyndham Garden® Hotels, TRYP by Wyndham®, Wingate by Wyndham®, Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham®, Ramada®, Ramada Encore®, Days Inn®, Super 8® and Howard Johnson® brands."

    New hotel brands in the region include the debut in Mexico of the TRYP by Wyndham Mexico City World Trade Center, and the first airport TRYP by Wyndham within Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil. Created to help guests take advantage of all the city has to offer during their stays the cosmopolitan TRYP by Wyndham brand resonates among Latin American partners and guests for its "Own the City" service culture. And, new construction also fueled growth in the region including: the Wyndham Garden Barranquilla, the company's 13th property in Colombia; Ramada Hotel & Suites Campos dos Goytacazes, which represents the fifth Ramada in Brazil; as well as Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima, the eighth hotel to open in Peru under the company's upscale Wyndham Hotel and Resorts brand.
  • The Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism for Peru (Mincetur), Ms. Maria del Carmen del Reparaz shared that there are currently 33 investment projects in the hotel sector for development in 14 regions of Peru. The total investment amounts to US $ 241.5 million and are located in Arequipa (7), Loreto (3), Ica (3), Puno regions (3 ), Lima (2), Mother of God (2), Cusco (2), Amazonas (2) Tumbes (2) Huanuco (2), La Libertad (2), Cajamarca (1), Junín (1) San Martin (1). In total there were 52 projects identified and collected throughout the country, of which 33 met the minimum requirements to be considered as part of the project portfolio for 2015 SAHIC
  • Ian Schrager, honored by SAHIC as its 2015 Inspirational Icon Keynote Speaker shared with the conference attendees (via video presentation) that "the excitement of a city should not stop once you enter a hotel. That's what we're trying to do with Edition Hotels - a unique experience in each city around the world.... We create one- of-a kind distinct products in each of our markets. Teaming up with Marriott is something that I wanted to do....we all have the same values and want to do something great. It's a dream team of people. The South American market is such an unbelievable market for us."
  • Additional SAHIC 2015 Awards were presented to:
    • Hotelier of the year: Mr. Francisco Levine of Atton Hotels for his impressive growth of the brand in the region;
    • Best New Hotel: W Bogota (Colombia); During the development of this hotel, the Starwood global design team and the local operations team ensured that the brand's vision and hotel's design came to life in every space from guest rooms to public spaces, including fabrics, textures and furniture. The result is a truly iconic hotel that has transformed the Bogota landscape.
  • During the 20/20 Showcase interesting projects and innovative ideas were presented before the audience, looking forward to connect the opportunities to investors and find the proper partners to take them ahead. The projects featured included:
    • Centro de Convenciones Eugenio Espejo, Quito
    • Flamencos Condominio & Resort, Peru
    • Villas Elguero, Brasil
    • Ciudad Turistica Pena Fiel, Peru
    • Portfolio 10 Ibis, Ecuador
    • Terra Andina Valle Sagrado Boutique Hotel, Peru

The Date and Venue for SAHIC 2016, was announced: September 26-27, 2016 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.


SAHIC, the premier Latin America hotel and tourism investment conference organizer promotes business and related real-estate projects in the region. The inaugural SAHIC Cuba, which was held May 15-16, 2017 was the must-attend event, designed to promote the hotel, tourism and related real estate businesses in Cuba. The Conference was destined to be "the" place to meet and network with the leading industry players in the island nation: hotel chains and groups, investors, banks, mutual funds, developers, architects, and interior designers, regional government representatives and other decision makers of the industry. For more information, visit www.sahiccuba.com

Leora Lanz
LHL Communications
SAHIC - Latin American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conferences