HOUSTON – Officials of the Latino Hotel Association (LHA), the global organization dedicated to expanding Latino ownership, leadership and commerce in the hotel industry, today announced the successful completion of “Hotel Franchising,” the group’s first hotel franchising forum held outside the U.S. The event, which was held November 30 to December 3, 2010, in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, attracted nearly 90 potential developers.
“The positive interest and feedback exceeded our expectations,” said Angela Gonzalez-Rowe, president and founder of LHA. “As many as 90 percent of attendees expressed interest in developing hotels, especially franchised properties, in the immediate future. As a result of the success of the event, we intend to hold at least one additional forum next year, in conjunction with the Mexican Hotel Association.”
“Mexico has tremendous growth potential for the hotel industry,” said Armando de la Garza Gaytan, president, Convention & Visitors Bureaus Association; president, Hispanic Meeting Professionals. “Feedback from our members and attendees new to the hotel industry was very positive. We look forward to a follow-up session in 2011.”
Hotel investors, owners and developers in attendance learned the fundamentals of hotel development, acquisition, repositioning and financing at the forum. In addition, participants heard strategies for executing successful hotel investment offerings and maximizing strong relationships with brands’ management and franchise companies.
The success of the forum has prompted LHA to begin researching the feasibility of holding similar sessions in Central and South America. “Hotels and brands are expanding in Latin America, and we view our role as a resource to help Latino owners and investors make the most informed decisions,” said Gonzalez-Rowe.
Mexican attendees came from Saltillo, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monclova, Parras de la Fuente, Zapopan, and Piedras Negras. In addition, Latino attendees from the U.S. came from Florida, Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico and California. Many of the 86 registered participants already were hoteliers, representing 42 hotels with 76 to 150 rooms on average. Some 80 percent expressed an interest in hotel franchising. More than 90 percent of participants were looking at new hotel development within Mexico, while 10 percent were interested in developing hotels in the United States.