Both the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit and Hotel Opportunities Latin America reported record crowds in Miami for their events.
The conferences were held back-to-back at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami hotel from 6 to 9 May. The strong showing was seen as a good indication for hotel investment in the Caribbean and Latin America, said Jim Burba of organisers Burba Hotel Network.
“While the attendance was great at both events, the best news was the mood and outlook of the delegates for the coming year,” he noted.
“The Hotel Opportunities Latin America delegates were predictably optimistic, but even at Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit the mood was the most upbeat since the great recession began. There were numerous credible conversations being held about new deals in the region. More than 600 delegates attended the events, with a sizeable number attending both, reinforcing the logic of putting the events in the same week in Miami, the financial gateway to the Latin America and Caribbean region,” Mr. Burba added.
One of the highlights of the conferences, he continued was the Meet the Opportunity sessions, where some of the most exciting new hotel and tourism projects were showcased. Participating countries included the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Montserrat, Mexico, Peru, Sint Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, and the US Virgin Islands.
In addition, last year’s Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit Battle of the Rum champion, Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt, returned to defend its title as the best rum in the Caribbean, but was narrowly defeated by Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum from St. Kitts & Nevis.
The judges for the Battle of the Rum contest included McHale S. Andrew representing St. Lucia, Winston Brathwaite representing US Virgin Islands, Ambassador Rosalyn Hazelle representing St. Kitts and Nevis, Federico Stubbe, Jr. representing Puerto Rico, Consul General Francois Guillaume II representing Haiti, and Ronald E. Theodore representing Grenada.
A number of awards were presented at the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit Conference. The Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach was named Development of the Year 2012, and in the category of Single Asset Transaction of the Year 2012 winners were the Fairmont Hamilton Princess in Hamilton, Bermuda, and the Key West Luxury Village in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands.
The back-to-back nature of CHRIS and HOLA is an efficient way for the hotel investment community that is interested not only in the Caribbean, but also in the Latin America region, to conduct their business while in Miami, Mr. Burba said.