Chile to play host to Latin America’s largest hotel conference

Business owners and industry authorities will convene in the capital city to explore new investment opportunities in the hospitality industry, from Sept. 21 to 22.

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Latin America’s most important hotel conference is coming to the Chilean capital next month, from Sept. 21 to 22, for the South American Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (SAHIC) 2011.

“This summit represents a great opportunity for Chile and Santiago to promote hotel investments and analyze opportunities,” said Chile’s sub-secretary of tourism, Jacqueline Plass.

Chile’s tourism industry has experienced a boom in recent years, thanks in part to positive international press as well as to increased off-season tourism. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of hotels in Chile rose 14 percent, the number of rooms rose 22 percent, and beds rose 14 percent.

“One of the main causes of this growth is the increasing importance of business tourism and conventions in Chile,” said Plass. “In 2005 only 17 percent of visitors to the country said they came on business, and last year that figure increased to 27 percent.”

The conference will focus on the general outlook of South American business and hotels, reviewing the current environment in participating countries as well as industry trends. Speakers will include industry leaders and hotel executives who will talk about their personal experiences and share their perspectives on today’s volatile hospitality sector.

SAHIC is also one of the year’s biggest networking opportunities for hotel owners. A highlight will be the Networking Express session, in which participants will have the opportunity to make 60 new contacts in just 90 minutes.

The annual conference is organized by HVS, the industry leader in hotel consulting services, with the support of the National Tourism Service (Sernatur) and Turismo Chile.