Marriott President for Latin America Craig Smith predicts strong growth for Latin America in the coming years.
Marriott is bullish on growth in the Latin America says the company’s newly-appointed President for Latin America, Craig Smith. Smith is the first to occupy that role, which was only created four months ago; prior to this, Latin America shared a category with the Southeastern United States in Marriott’s corporate structure. “That the CEO felt strong enough about the region to place a president here is a very strong statement,” says Smith, who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and has worked and lived throughout the region. In an interview with LBC Smith says increased tourist infrastructure, strong economies, and a growing middle class are changing travel in the region, and outlines some of Marriott’s plans for expansion in the region.
“In the past 10 years, Marriott has more than doubled its presence in Latin America, growing from 35 to 76 hotels in the region,” Smith says. “In the next four years, we plan to double that number again.”
According to Latin Business Chronicle, Marriott ranks fourth on the list of hotels with the largest number of Latin rooms (18,000 in 2012), after IHG (58,503), Accor (35,330) and Sol Meliá (25,433).
When asked what he says as areas particularly poised for growth, Smith answered unequivocally: “This is the MeMo (Mexico Moment),” Smith says. “Mexico has all the right indicators for growth: liquidity, strong tourist …
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