Latam e-News – July 2017 – Arturo´s Letter

SAHIC – The annual must-attend hotel industry meeting in Latin America.

In the last years, SAHIC has not only become the annual meeting of the industry in the region, but has come to fill a void which, in the right proportions, has been a contribution to the progress experienced by hotel business in the region. No doubt that there is a “before-and-after” in the gathering of the various players involved in the development of hotel and tourism industry in the region. They are remarkable international leaders, small, medium and large players in the region, entrepreneurs from other sectors who start to be interested in understanding what is happening in a business that continues to grow beyond the fluctuations of the economy in general and that cannot grow further because of those circumstances. These circumstances, though disturbing, cannot stop the mentioned growth.

International and regional chains, investors, developers, government officials, architects, designers, landowners, construction companies, investment funds, banks, creators, facilitators, implementers and executors of dreams that never stop coming true.

This is SAHIC.

I once heard someone define this must-attend event as “a club”. I am not sure whether it is the best definition of this tool that the industry has adopted as an enabler, owning it and enriching it with the invaluable contribution of each and every one of the participants of this year’s event in its tenth edition.

If by “club” it is understood that place where one knows that one is going to meet with people with common objectives, with people who can change, improve or make our projects possible, a space that helps us to unleash our dreams, to share them and start to make them come true, then undoubtedly SAHIC is a club.

Returning to Buenos Aires after nine years

Over the years, SAHIC has sailed different waters: turbulent, calm, challenging, always promising.

So is the region, so is the world, so is life.

Just remember that after waiting for years to make our dream come true, on the opening day of the first edition the world was on the verge of a tremendous international financial crisis. That morning, the United States Congress rejected the bail-out plan presented by President Bush to overcome the crisis of subprime mortgages that came to light with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Some might have considered it a bad omen, but once again it was clear that the best is yet to come.

Unlike other major conferences similar to SAHIC and held in other parts of the world-NYU (New York), ALIS (Los Angeles), IHIF (Berlin), AHIC (Dubai), among others- SAHIC is the only one not taking place in the same city every year and the only one covering three different languages simultaneously. These are all challenges that are renewed year after year but that we are happy to face. We are in a vast region where hotel and tourism industry needs this effort and where not everything can be solved in English.

Everybody´s support and understanding has made it possible to overcome the obstacles we faced and crown each of the meetings with success, beyond personal preferences.

SAHIC returns to Buenos Aires in its tenth edition, the place where it started. A paradox, returning to where SAHIC was born at the time that Argentina seems to want to be reborn. We are sure SAHIC will add its grain of sand to Argentinians´ titanic task of recovery, to go back to the path of growth and prosperity that, for a moment, seemed to never find again.

SAHIC`s achievements

Defined as I like, as an enabling tool, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to keep a detailed record of the achievements of SAHIC.

A tool is always there ready to be used, silent, solitary. She knows her thousand battles well, those who showed skill, those who hesitated, those who admired her and also those who did not consider her at all, but has always been there, ready to be used and give the best of herself.

SAHIC made possible key meetings that were the beginning of promising businesses, opportunities to learn new practices, to learn more about the business, to listen to incredible stories (The Miracle of the Andes, for example), to meet entrepreneurs who left their mark (David Sutton Antonio Catala or Ian Schaeger, among others) and know about dreams that came true (business closed through the platform “20/20 Showcase your Project”). We also enjoyed entertainment that enlivened the long hours of work (Colombian palanqueras, the trujillan sailor, the Peruvian box, tango, Chilean cueca or the Brazilian samba) accompanied by drinks that remind us that there is always something to celebrate (the caipirinha , pisco, vaina or tropical drinks).

SAHIC managed to bridge a future that is coming and a present to be inserted into that future. And so, it is impossible not to mention having been a bridge between the main Cuban players of hotel business and tourism, and those to whom reality denied the possibility of being part of a business that will grow in a sustained and unique way during the years to come. The first edition of SAHIC Cuba, held last May, certainly marks a before and after in the hotel business in that country.

Now, SAHIC South America

A new edition is approaching and, with it, the celebration of the first decade of SAHIC.

Buenos Aires is waiting for us on September 13-14.

As always, we have an interesting program that offers the opportunity to know what happened in the last year but, above all, what can we expect in the near future:

Sébastien Bazin, Stephen Holmes, Bill Walshe and David Sutton, four giants of the industry that you must meet.

The opportunity to meet 4 major industry CEOs, key players who have transformed their companies and whose leadership is impacting on the way of doing business in a rapidly changing world.

Sébastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO from Accor Hotels; Stephen Holmes, Chairman & CEO, from Wyndham; Bill Walshe, CEO from Viceroy Hotels Group and David Sutton, President & CEO of Grupo Alvear, the largest investor in the industry in Argentina.


Opportunities in an economy that returns to the world scenario and that will surely grow again at a remarkable rate during the next years.


The phenomenon of the last years, getting ready for what could have been unthinkable not long ago: to lead the international tourist arrivals in the region, exceeding its eternal leaders Brazil and Argentina.


A country that has not stopped growing but has been convulsed by the effects of the Brazilian affair of the “lavajato” that put them in the situation of having a former president in prison and another fugitive. A country where the business of hotels and tourism has not stopped growing until facing the country with the collapse of its main access, Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima. A challenge to overcome that presents new opportunities.


Another winner of the last years, now without the law of taxes exonerations for hotel investments in force, but with the confirmation of a peace agreement that ends forever with that bitter stage that plunged the country in a complex situation well overcome by the joint effort of the public and private sector working together.

Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay

They are countries that have begun to reconsider how to be part of an industry that has been growing steadily in most of the region.

In the last years, Ecuador has been actively working not only in promoting their destinations, but also taking an active part in promoting and attracting new investments. This year, Ecuador will be present in SAHIC for the fourth consecutive year promoting its opportunities.

20/20 Showcase your Project.

In the last years, this has been the platform that turned unknown opportunities into real businesses. A tool that grows every year. The perfect space for those who have projects and need to identify the partners to develop them.


Again, main Cuban officials and business executives of hotels and tourism industry will be present in this edition. This will be a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with them. Hotel operators, investors, architects, developers and consultants will also be attending the conference and it will mean an opportunity for construction companies and industry suppliers who want to expand their business in a market growing at double-digit percentage level.

STR Data & Trends

As always, we will count on the invaluable contribution of STR regarding the updated market information, trends and forecasts. This year we will be repeating the format of combining hard data with the business point of view.

And much more.

SAHIC is the appropriate forum for those in the business, those who are in the process of joining the business or those who do not yet know about the opportunities it offers in the region.

As always, the recognition to those who do so much for the industry in the region.

SAHIC from 2017 onwards.

This 2017 marked the beginning of the growth of SAHIC after the partnership signed with Bench Events. The alliance between two leading “warriors” of the industry, Jonathan Worsley and the writer, has turned to be very enriching for all, as expected.

In addition to the second event of SAHIC Cuba, we will shortly announce more news, always contributing to encourage hotels and tourism business in the region.

We look forward to seeing you in Buenos Aires next September 13-14.

SAHIC South America is celebrating its 10th anniversary and you cannot miss this super special edition.