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South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference 2010
Reveals Colombia's Dynamic Growth in Tourism and Hotel Development

October 14, 2010 (Bogota)
- Key players from the hotel and tourism industry gathered in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia on September 27-28, 2010, to attend SAHIC 2010 – the third annual South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference.  “It was a great honor for Colombia to have SAHIC 2010 held in Cartagena de Indias,” said Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport, the host patron of the event.  

“It demonstrated to many of the world’s business leaders Colombia’s global position as one of Latin America’s best venues for holding conferences, proving it is a good place to invest and generate business opportunities.”  She also highlighted that the natural diversity of Colombia and the strategic vision of the sector consolidate the country as an international touristic destination and have allowed the country to enter to the lists of the best destination in the world.

The number of foreign visitors has tripled over the past six years. In 2009, while tourism in the world fell by 4 percent in Colombia it increased by 10.7 percent. Similarly, international flights to Colombia doubled since 2000, every week there are 672 flight frequencies that connect Colombia with 18 countries in the world. In this last aspect, the domestic air connectivity recorded a total of 4,838 national flight frequencies.

An encouraging picture of the recovering hotel business was revealed on the opening day of SAHIC 2010.  Steve Rushmore, President and Founder of HVS Global Hospitality Services, noted that the hotel sector has seen a turnaround from the dark days of 2009, with revenues in the U.S. expected to be 4.3% higher in 2010, with bigger jumps projected at 7.1% in 2011 and 8.1% in 2012. “The recovery will be rapid and strong,” he said, emphasizing that now is the time to buy distressed hotels as they are trading well below replacement cost.

Arturo Garcia Rosa, senior partner of HVS Global Hospitality Services and president of HVS Argentina-Peru was equally optimistic about prospects for South American hotels, citing increases in new hotel rooms for Buenos Aires, Argentina as well as Santiago, Chile. He also stressed that tourism in Bogota, Colombia has flourished since 2000. Looking forward to the continued growth in hotels in Bogota, it is forecasted that by 2014, there will be 2,253 new rooms in the city, which would be up from 1,616 during 2009.

While tourism worldwide fell by 4% in 2009, Colombia experienced an increase of 10.7%. The number of foreign visitors has tripled over the past six years and international flights have doubled since 2000.

Awaiting these visitor arrivals are many new hotel developments.  JW Marriott, opened the luxurious Marriott Bogota in July 2010 with 264 beds and the Bogota Marriott with 239 beds. Madrid based NH Hotels opened the Parque de la 93 in 2009 and NH Capital Towers opening in 2010. Sonesta’s expansion in South America continued in 2010 with hotels welcoming visitors in Bogotá, Cartagena and Barranquilla.

The Hilton Worldwide, recognizing that government representatives are working diligently to stimulate tourism, responded with plans to open a 245-guestroom hotel in early 2011. Hilton Worldwide already holds a strong presence in the Colombia, with Hilton Cartagena and Embassy Suites Bogota-Rosales. The company is also in discussions to introduce new brands to this burgeoning market, including Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Doubletree.

During her presentation at SAHIC 2010, new Proexport President Maria Claudia Lacouture reaffirmed Colombia’s exceptional potential for welcoming visitors from all over the globe, emphasizing how tourism has become a major economic development engine.  “Thanks to the economic and security developments that have occurred in recent years, Colombia’s cultural and historical wealth can now be enjoyed by millions of visitors,” she said.

For more information please visit:

Media Contact:

Naureen M. Kazi,
Proexport Colombia, USA  
[email protected]


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