PUERTO RICO – The 16th Annual Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC) is geared to emphasize the need for public and private sector partnerships in order to maximize investment opportunities in the Caribbean tourism industry. CHTIC is scheduled for April 24-26, 2012 at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The comprehensive conference program provides delegates with all of the necessary tools including attracting the capital from financial institutions and utilizing partnerships with the public sector. The program is designed to provide investors with ample opportunities in the region and put tourism related businesses in the best possible position as the economy continues to rebound.
“Tourism is our region’s number one economy and we must do everything to attract new tourism investment into the region to be able to expand our tourism product and therefore maintain our global competitive position as the world’s leading warm weather destination”, said Josef Forstmayr, president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA). “This year’s Investment Conference program will be geared to jump start the investment opportunities in the tourism industry and will feature a varied program geared towards developing the necessary partnerships to achieve successful investments for all parties involved”.
CHTIC, organized by CHTA and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), attracts government officials, investment promotion agencies, hoteliers, investors, lenders, architects, planners, construction companies, financial organizations, real estate/mortgage intermediaries, developers, industry officials and other tourism entities.
Following are the general session topics and descriptions for CHTIC 2012:
• Setting The Scene: Challenges, Potential And Opportunities – The Caribbean On The World Tourism Stage: Caribbean economies are significantly driven by tourism with 7 of the world’s 10 most tourism-dependent countries located in the region. This session will provide the tools and vital data to guide the discussions throughout the conference and identify opportunities for tourism development in the Caribbean.
• Opportunities In The Caribbean Tourism Industry – Public And Private Sector Partnerships: A successful path ahead requires innovative solutions that integrate all major components of the tourism industry. Some of the best success stories in recent years involve partnerships between the public and private sector. A cross-section panel of Caribbean ministers of tourism and industry representatives will share their vision of investment opportunities in the region and policies required to encourage expansion.
• From An Investor’s Perspective: This is a must attend session for anyone considering investment and expansion in the Caribbean. Our panel represents a group of leading hoteliers and developers who oversee an extensive portfolio of hospitality product across the region. From mega all-inclusive resorts to luxury high-end resort developments, this session will explore what drives investment and include a candid discussion on what motivated these companies to make significant financial commitments and recommendations for future development in the region.
• The Managing Directors Check-In: Operating and managing the business interests of resort developers in the Caribbean can often entail oversight of multiple businesses ranging from hotels and real estate to spa and casino operations. The session will address today’s challenges and opportunities as well as highlight how panelists have been able to position their resorts for long term success. The experts will reveal strategies that have been proven successful as well as how these resorts are positioning themselves to ensure the highest returns.
Conference delegates will also have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions which are presented as three simultaneous presentations. The breakout sessions include:
• Shared Ownership – A Caribbean Opportunity: The shared ownership sector continues to thrive and grow across the region with major hospitality companies and independent hoteliers and developers reporting strong sales. This session will explore consumer interest in traveling to the Caribbean and the ongoing opportunity for timeshare and fractional development throughout the region.
• Real Estate And Hospitality: Recognizing the global decline in the real estate industry, this session will examine the short and long term future for real estate in the Caribbean, and from a practical standpoint, how will it continue to interface with the regions hospitality product. Experts from across the region will share their insight and provide specifics relative to current supply and future development opportunities.
• Strategies And Options To Deal With Troubled Assets: The reality is that there are so many troubled assets (loans, workouts, receiverships and bankruptcies) with magnificent potential. While most developers are looking elsewhere to start something new, this session will explore ways to capitalize on stalled projects and revive them successfully.
Participants will receive insight on opportunities involving already built and partially built, but not in use properties that got stalled during the recent economic crisis.
• Target Markets And Tapping Into New Opportunities: Traditionally, the Caribbean has looked to North America as its target market with the Eastern Caribbean attracting visitors from Europe, particularly the United Kingdom. Today, however, sources of inward investment are changing, economies from the target markets are in a downturn, and increased taxes are thereby reducing the number of visitors to the region from these key areas. The discussion will highlight how the region is being proactive to minimize the impact of these changes by tapping non-traditional markets.
• The Power Of Branding: Join us to examine how international hospitality companies contribute to the success of the Caribbean’s tourism product. Questions that will be addressed include: Will branding enhance profitability and increase revenues? What works and why? What are the opportunities by size and segment? Is it possible to maintain a property’s individuality and unique attributes while leveraging the brand?
• Capital Markets Outlook – Where Will The Capital Come From?: The future of further development of the hospitality and real estate industries in the Caribbean rests squarely on the shoulders of the lenders, banks and other financial institutions and sources of capital. We can plan, project and create wonderful opportunities but sourcing the funds will determine whether or not a project has the potential for success. This session goes right to the heart of this issue as we hear from the lenders directly and find out how they view the potential opportunities for development funding in the Caribbean.
The conference program also provides plenty of opportunities for delegates to conduct business through the speed networking, networking reception and networking lunches.