Gonzalo del Peón, global president of the commercial area of Inclusive Collection, a Hyatt brand, tells Forbes that they already have more than 120 hotels in their portfolio, with which they hope to seduce the Latin American market. What is their plan?
Rahm Emanuel, former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, said it well when he reiterated in many of his speeches that a good crisis should never be wasted. Although he was doing so in the face of the debacle in the U.S. financial markets, since then his words have resonated very well with some companies that continue to find opportunities despite the uncertain times.
It is precisely this premise that has been incorporated into the DNA of the Hyatt hotel chain, through its Inclusive Collection line. Over the last three years, after the pandemic, the company has rethought its business strategy, turning to new trends and filling those spaces they see with great potential: the Latin American market.
“We continue to bet on vacation tourism because we have seen a trend of accumulated demand for luxury travel to those destinations where we have a presence,” reiterated Gonzálo del Peón, global president of Inclusive Collection’s commercial area, in an exclusive interview with Forbes. “As we continue to monitor economic changes, we have created specific promotions and marketing tactics to continue to support and strengthen vacation travel for those consumers who want to learn about the portfolio.”
Del Peón, who was a founder of AMResorts, a company that entered the Hyatt portfolio in 2021 to later become Inclusive Collection, reiterates that now the group’s strategy – beyond consolidating the North American market – seeks to seduce Latino tourists, who are increasingly interested in all-inclusive services or luxury resorts.
Part of this argument is due to the fact that, according to forecasts by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), it is expected that by 2023 the mobilization of international tourists will reach between 80% and 95% compared to pre-pandemic levels, depending on how the global economic slowdown worsens.
According to the executive, tourists from Latin America generally travel with their families and seek paradisiacal beaches, explore the destination’s culture and enjoy the gastronomic variety. “These countries have a number of holidays during the year, which allows them to book short and weekend trips to our destinations. Air connectivity and price are key factors when deciding,” he explains.
Del Peón points out that today Inclusive Collection comprises nine brands with 120 resorts in 12 countries and 32 destinations. In its portfolio, it already has more than 30,000 rooms, making it one of the largest luxury resort chains in the world.
In Colombia they have made significant progress and in 2022 they even opened Dreams Karibana Cartagena Golf & Spa Resort, the first luxury all-inclusive resort in Cartagena. With this step, their strategy has been to focus on the Latin market, as they have found more opportunities to grow in families, couples and single travelers, among others.
“Since the opening of Dreams Karibana Cartagena in May 2022, we have seen an increase in local travel to Colombia,” reiterates Del Peón, who adds: “As the careful growth of the Inclusive Collection portfolio continues, we have Colombia in mind as an interesting potential expansion destination for our travelers”.
The chain has a clear objective: to conquer the hearts of millions of Latin Americans who seek beach destinations every year. For this reason, in Central America and the Caribbean alone, they already have more than 16 resorts, with brands such as Hyatt Zilara, Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, among others, with a total of 3,000 rooms.
Although they do not disclose investment issues or growth expectations in terms of income, they warn that in the midst of this economic uncertainty they continue to invest in the development of new hotels. Del Peón even highlights that the portfolio “has planned an expansion in many regions with the upcoming openings of Secrets Impression Isla Mujeres, Secrets Tulum Resort & Beach Club and Dreams Estrella del Mar Mazatlán in Mexico and Secrets Tides Punta Cana in the Domincan Republic, among others.
“Travel originating in Latin American markets remains on a high trend and, in 2023, we are fostering this growth through strategic implementations with our partner companies and travel advisors in their respective markets,” the executive adds.
Beyond Mexico and Brazil, Colombia is one of the main outbound markets in Latin America for the chain, in addition to markets such as Argentina and Chile that are also important, highlights the executive, who concludes, “For Inclusive Collection, Latin America, its places and its people are very important.”