17 Nov BCQS Team Attends CHICOS
The BCQS team recently attended the 10th anniversary edition of the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS), at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, in Nassau, Bahamas.
CHICOS is one of the leading hotel investment conferences in the region. Over three days, the BCQS team had the opportunity to network and connect with industry professionals, including regional and international investors, operators and top decision makers.
Some key takeaways from the event include:
- The downturn in 2020 was driven by the pandemic and was not due to an economic recession. Investment appetite and capital markets are still strong, and the fundamentals that make the Caribbean an attractive investment still exist.
- The Caribbean hotel market is resilient and has shown gains over 2021, specifically in countries with fewer COVID requirements to enter.
- Overall, the Caribbean has managed the pandemic well by tracking, tracing, and controlling the spread of the virus. However, a more uniform set of COVID requirements should be agreed upon and adopted by all Caribbean nations to assist in the ease of tourists entering.
- Due to the associated restrictions resulting from the pandemic, there is a pent up demand for Caribbean vacation travel from US travellers, which helped with the initial rebound of the Caribbean tourist economy.
- There appears to be an increasing demand for “All-inclusive” resorts, mainly in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, where several Hotel Brands are now offering this as part of their inventory product. However, the “All-inclusive” model does not work everywhere, and careful consideration is required when choosing this product for specific locations.
- There is strong demand for Caribbean vacations and real estate, particularly in luxury and low-density products and new tourism products will need to address this demand.
- Current markets that hoteliers are looking to expand to is Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
- Differentiating a product offering through luxury, what does luxury mean? The consensus from this panel discussion is that it relates more to emotion, feeling, and experience than a physical building. The building is just the tool to create a luxury experience. It also comes down to the hotel’s staff, investing and developing hotel associates who can provide that experience for their guests.
- The pandemic has created an issue with the shipping and supply of materials. As a result, developers must pre-plan / order materials well in advance, adding pressure on developers with bank loans/cash flow etc.
BCQS’ Simon Taylor had the opportunity to moderate lively panel discussions on Caribbean Project Development in the current times.
Simon Taylor, Director, BCQS International
– Lou Alicea, Senior Director of Development, Wyndham Hotel Group
– David Beckley, SVP, Client Advocate, Real Estate & Hospitality, McGriff
– Gerhard Beukes, Managing Director, Colliers International
– Stan Hartling, President, Hartling Group