Latam and the Caribbean: Hilton’s aggressive pipeline at 100
Hilton Hotels, which celebrated its 100th anniversary on May 31 and is the oldest hotel chain in the world, is celebrating this milestone with an aggressive plan for Latin America and the Caribbean. The region is currently home to 150 of the group’s hotels, a figure expected to reach 240 by 2025, says Juan Corvinos, vice president of Development for this market.
“We are the first hotel company to turn 100, with more than 5,700 hotels around the world and with a presence in 108 countries, and we have an aggressive pipeline. This is really being our most dynamic year,” says the executive in an interview with GRI Hub.
“In Latin America, specifically, in the last five years, we have doubled in size, from 67 hotels [in 2013] to 150 [now]. We have another 90 in the pipeline until 2025,” he says.
In 2019, 25 new hotels are expected to be added to the portfolio. In addition to those already opened before July 1, such as the Hampton by Hilton Guarulhos Airport, another 14 are scheduled for the second half of the year. “We will also have Hampton’s in Chile, Argentina, and Peru. This year, [in total] there are four new ones [with this flag in the region],” notes Corvinos.
News on the way
Among other brands and countries that have already been announced are Canopy by Hilton, in Brazil, Hilton Los Cabos, in Mexico, and the Curio Collection by Hilton, which will be the group’s first hotel in the Cayman Islands. Motto by Hilton, a flag that is aimed at major urban centers and that links compact rooms to high technology, already announced in Brazil, will also arrive in Peru. ‘We have an interesting pipeline [for Motto], which includes New York, London, and Miraflores [a district of the Peruvian capital city Lima],” adds the executive.
Corvinos underscores the uniqueness of the Motto brand, which offers compact, 14-square-meter rooms with the seal of the Hilton brand. He explains that, on a same floor, the units can be connected if requested by guests. “If [the customer] wants only one room, he will have it; if he also wants a living room, this is possible, because the units can be connected [...]. We are meeting a consumer demand,” he says.
“What we need now is a breather. In the last four years, we have rolled out brands in the region and, at the moment, we need to reach maturity,” he adds.
Market to market
Regarding each Latin American nation’s potential and preferences, Juan Corvinos says that the whole region is important for the group’s expansion. “It is a diverse region. Brazil [for example] is a very important market; however, it takes time to expand in the country because of the [already existing] hotel structures and because we are a big, international company,” he says. He also recalls the partnership with Atlantica Hotels, which helped to boost growth in the Brazilian territory.
The same relevance is given to each of the other 24 Latin American and Caribbean markets where the company has operations.
Asked about external interference – such as the Argentine recession and the electoral period in that country – the executive clarifies that the decision to enter a country is made with great care.
“We have been in the region for over 50 years, and we see the economic impacts as cycles, as occurs in the real estate market. Obviously, countries go through election, expansion or recession periods. We do not look at an isolated event. The vision is for the long term,” he says.
To sustain this intensely dynamic year and the upcoming ones, Corvinos emphasizes the importance of adopting good practices. For example, in 2019, the brand was granted several distinctions, such as being featured on the Great Place to Work ranking in the region and the recognition for being among the companies that respect diversity the most.
Another essential factor in this regard is the investment in new technologies and services that provide a unique experience to the guest. ‘We are working hard in the digital environment. [Hilton’s] connected room project allows for the entire cellular hotel experience – from the booking platform to the room’s temperature control. Another interesting initiative is the Five Feet to Fitness, which provides workout equipment and parts in the rooms to those who do not want to go to the gym [of the hotel], for example.”
GRI Hospitality Latin America 2019
The hotel industry’s potential and business opportunities in the region will be discussed at GRI Hospitality Latin America 2019. The event, now in its third edition, is scheduled for August 29 and 30, in Miami, and will be attended by the hotel industry’s main decision makers. Learn details and find out how to participate.