A 2015 Outlook for the Hospitality Development in Latin America; How Does Cuba Fit into the Mix?
By Arturo Garcia Rosa President & Founder, SAHIC South America and SAHIC Cuba | May 24, 2015
South America's growth prospects still make the region attractive for the development of new projects: Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador lead expectations regarding investment opportunities, both in new and in existing projects. Uruguay is awaiting changes in Argentina to recover the sustained growth it had reported for years. Venezuela lacks capacity to attract foreign investment, at least from players who are no longer operating in the country. The situation in Argentina is uncertain-no improvements apparent in the near future. And though Cuba is not Latin America, how does this Queen of the Caribbean fit into our future?
South America continues to exhibit resistance to global crises and thus the region is still appealing for new project development. Growth has been sluggish the last few years, though the recovery of the most advanced economies globally is an incentive for the economic growth in our region.
Three factors contribute to the slow-paced improvements in the region:
- The weakening of domestic demand
- Tougher and more volatile financial conditions
- Drop in raw material pricing
Despite the slow and steady uptick, the region remains appealing. At a global level, South America experienced a 2.6% growth in total international tourist arrivals, which in 2013 totaled 27.4 million travelers. Although this percentage represents a small piece of the global industry, it is important to highlight its strong and steady growth in the last 13 years, with a 79% increase in the number of tourist arrivals since the year 2000.
For the period of 2011-2013, some countries grew way beyond the global average of 4.5% - for example Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay. And in 2013, countries that experienced the greatest arrival of tourists were Brazil (5,800,000), Argentina (5,200,000), Chile (3,600,000), Peru (3,200,000) and Uruguay (2,500,000).