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Tapping the Latin American Hotel Development Market

Luis Mirabelli, a speaker at the marcus evans Latin American Infrastructure & Property Development Summit 2013, on developing hotels in the region.

Interview with: Luis Mirabelli, Vice President Development, Latin America, Wyndham Hotel Group


“The future of the Latin American infrastructure and property development market is bright,” says Luis Mirabelli, Vice President Development, Latin America, Wyndham Hotel Group. “It is just a matter of understanding the diversity of each market and going for the untouched locations. That is where the opportunities are,” he adds.

A speaker at the marcus evans Latin American Infrastructure & Property Development Summit 2013, in Panama City, Panama, April 25-26, Mirabelli shares best practices for developing hotels and infrastructure in the region.

What are the challenges of developing hotels in Latin America?

The main challenge is understanding the differences among markets. Many developers consider Latin America as a whole when it comes to strategy, but Latin America is a very diverse region composed of more than 20 different countries. The region has been outperforming other parts of the world in terms of GDP, but that has different implications in each market.

Another challenge is the limited financing vehicles and tools that investors have access to locally. Fortunately this is something that has begun to change with the FIBRAS and SKDs in Mexico.

What are the development opportunities?

Although we cannot generalize, there is a great opportunity for developing in the economy or budget segment, and the mid-scale segment.

Wyndham has a very interesting portfolio of 15 brands in which most are these segments. Our strategy is to go country by country, and inside each country, location by location, to identify opportunities for positioning ourselves.

What framework is needed to push the market forward?

More that 50 percent of the current room supply in Latin America came from independent or local branded hotels With a growing economy and more people getting acquainted with international brands, the requirements for standardization and more accessible channels of distributions are growing as well, in order for current and future hotel owners to maintain and increase profitability. We feel the framework could not be better for our business, a proof of that is that we hit the 100 hotels in the region mark and still have much more to come.

How would better infrastructure promote regional tourism?

Regional tourism is definitely tied to infrastructure development. Brazil is currently undergoing some infrastructure development in preparation for the World Cup and the Olympic Games. It is much like the story of the chicken and egg. With infrastructure you can create regional and international tourism flow, but the opposite is also true. After the Olympics, the infrastructure will be there for Brazil to create a new flow of tourism.

What best practices would you recommend to infrastructure and property developers in Latin America?

Standardization and well developed processes and channels of distribution is what we see as the value of our brands in different market segments. Latin America stands out as a region with many entrepreneurs and creative people, because we are used to cyclical economies. But sometimes we need to combine that creativity with standards and best practices.
Interview by: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager

For more information, contact: Jennifer Keljik, marketing manager
Tel: +1.312.540.3000 x6592

About the Latin American Infrastructure & Property Development Summit 2013

This unique forum will take place at the Trump Ocean Club, Panama City, Panama, April 25-26, 2013. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on building tourism infrastructure, penetrating local markets, enhancing urban mobility and finding the perfect balance between private and public sector investments.

Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. All rights reserved. The above content may be republished or reproduced. Kindly inform us by sending an email to


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