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SAHIC 2024 returns to Peru amid the commitment of hotel giants to acquire independent brands
Monday, March 11, 2024 - 19:15
Fuente: Sergio Herrera Deza

The hotel convention opened today in Lima with the participation of representatives of large operators such as Marriott and Hyatt, as well as the national authorities of Peruvian tourism.

All roads led to SAHIC 2024. The Westin Hotel & Convention Center in Lima, Peru, was the scene of a new edition of the business conference focused on real estate investments for regional hospitality. This Monday the 11th, the event kicked off with a press conference led by five hotel leaders: Federico Greppi, financial director of the Franchise Operations & Owners Relations area in Latin America and the Caribbean at Marriott International; Mauro Rial, director of operations for premium, mid-scale and economy hotels in America at Accor; Gustavo Viescas, president of Wyndham Hotel & Resorts in Latin America; Richard Rehwaldt, vice president of the regional subsidiary of BWH Hotels and Camilo Bolaños, development manager of Hyatt Hotels in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The exhibitors dedicated an hour to present the progress of their hotel chains in the framework of the post-pandemic recovery, the challenges to be faced in terms of citizen insecurity and social conflicts, as well as the new role that the new brands launched or acquired will play in the region .

Last year, Marriott acquired the Mexican chain City Express, known for its offering of affordable mid-range accommodations. And the plans aim to expand the brand new ally. “Of the 30 brands that Marriott has, 27 already operate in Latin America. While eight in particular operate in Peru. The priority we have in South America is to inaugurate the first City Express in the region in Lima,” clarified Federico Greppi, representative of the American chain, for AméricaEconomía .

On the other hand, although COVID-19 as a large-scale threat is part of the past, other diseases appear sporadically to remind us of the vulnerability of human beings. This is how the international traveler seeks not only comfort, but security when searching for exotic destinations. Some chains have achieved notable standards such as Hyatt Hotels, which in 2020 obtained a GBAC Star certification for its advanced biosafety protocols.

“Our portfolio has the advantage of being very young, the majority of hotels that Hyatt has opened have been invoices in the last 10 years and that allows in many cases to have a greater focus on investment towards the segment that will give you these types of certifications,” expressed Camilo Bolaños, director of Hyatt, for AméricaEconomía .

Subsequently, SAHIC 2024 was officially inaugurated in a brief ceremony that included the participation of Arturo García Rosa, president and CEO of SAHIC Group; José Koechlin Von Stein, president of the National Chamber of Tourism of Peru (Canatur) and Angélica Matsuda, executive president of Promperú. Likewise, the event included the intervention of Juan Carlos Mathews, Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, who connected remotely from the city of Cusco.

García Rosa opened the ceremony with a reflection on the rapid take-off of artificial intelligence (AI) in the world of work and how human beings must take advantage of their reasoning to promote its responsible use.

Subsequently, Koechlin expanded on the contrasts that mark the tourism industry in Latin America: on the one hand, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has added US$3.5 billion to its funds on the continent, while the same is not seen in the flow of investments between the United States and South America. Along the same lines, the CEO of Inkaterra, a Peruvian chain of ecological hotels, highlighted that although Peru maintains a stable exchange rate, labor informality continues to be the main driver of the tourism sector.

"We need to work to ensure that the public and private sectors of Peru maintain more flexible relationships so that we can speed up what is essentially the market. Only in this way can we generate social well-being and, in the long run, a larger domestic tourism market. "The traveler knows that he is taking risks when he travels, because he puts his savings for the year and his security at the disposal of chance," Koechlin reflected.

For her part, Matsuda, president of Promperú, recognized the difficulties of Peruvian tourism in overcoming the pandemic, although she did not refer to recent social conflicts such as the blockade of Machu Picchu in 2023. Although she listed recognitions such as the 11 victories of the Andean country as the best global culinary destination between 2012 and 2023. Another distinction mentioned was the country's election as the best cultural destination on five occasions between 2017 and 2023.

“All the qualities described translate into the sustained growth of the lodging establishment plant in Peru over the last 10 years, or the 15% increase in the activity of the accommodation and restaurant subsector in 2023 in our country. In this regard, the arrival of foreign tourists has been gradually recovering, having increased 26% in 2023, which is why we are progressively returning to the levels of international assets seen before the pandemic,” said Matsuda.

Although there is still a long way to go. Well, as Mincetur itself highlights, between January and April 2023, 22 million people arrived at lodging establishments in Peruvian territory. This figure still represents 19% less than what was registered in the same period of 2019. On the other hand, between January and May 2023, 14 million passengers made national or international trips, thus representing 11% below the pre-level. pandemic.

Finally, Minister Mathews highlighted in his virtual speech the “resilience” of a Peruvian economy, in addition to the fact that the country is one of the 17 megadiverse nations in the world, due to its variety of ecosystems and natural resources. “These characteristics have led us to be the fourth country in the region to receive the largest flows of foreign direct investment in the last 20 years, with a cumulative total of US$ 110,000 million.

Subsequently, the series of conferences was inaugurated by Reinier Schliesser, chief economist of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF). The academic presented an optimistic vision of the future of the regional economy. This is a projection where the decrease in inflation and favorable interest rates will contribute to the recovery of several Latin American economies, as well as the generation of alternatives to hotel investment.


Sergio Herrera Deza