The laying of the foundation stone of the National Center of Congresses and Conventions (CNCC) a few weeks ago, activated the business plans of the hotel entrepreneurs established around it, and also attracted the attention of new investors.
Over the next few months, the hotel sector will invest heavily in new projects, facility refurbishment, transportation networks, increase in food and beverage services, and training expansion.
According to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), currently and within a radius of three kilometers of the CNCC’s location, in Barreal de Heredia, there are 1,134 hotel rooms available, while in five kilometers it is 2,434 and within 7 kilometers the number of available rooms increases to 4,587. However, these figures can increase significantly.
Mauricio Ventura, Tourism Minister, explained that, although the country has a suitable hotel structure that could meet the needs of the center, this reality helps Costa Rica to be open to new investment projects.
He added that the advances in the convention center have already attracted the interest of investors, who have approached the ICT to propose the construction of new developments. These plans would be made known later.
While this is happening, existing hotel complexes have recently begun to make plans to materialize before February 2018, when the convention center is expected to be ready.
“I think very few (hotel entrepreneurs) had the confidence that was going to be built. Very few really have prepared themselves strongly from the supply point of view and even fewer from the operational point of view,” said Gustavo Araya, president of The Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH).
Despite this, entrepreneurs feel they still have time and look to the future with optimism, not only because they would improve their occupation (in 2016, the Central Valley occupancy was 61.2%), but also the average hotel rate area.
The tourism leader emphasized that it is extremely important that the sector continues the learning process in order to enter the meeting industry.
“Our sector has been concerned with strengthening the training in the market to expand knowledge, improve customer service and maximize commercial relations that strengthen business and the image of the country and this is an action that must be permanent”, Said Ventura.
Country Inn Suites Aeropuerto, located in Ciudad Cariari and with 92 rooms, is one of the hotels that would be preparing for the operation of the convention center.
Lizy Jiménez, marketing and sales manager for the complex, said that some of the measures they will take in the short term are the remodeling of its third tower with 36 rooms, as well as increasing food and beverage services.
“Likewise, we are planning to have an organized transport network for larger congresses and thus support the demand for rooms with hotels in the city,” added Jiménez.
The managers of the Hotel Terrazas de Golf, also located in Ciudad Cariari and with 11 rooms, are valuing investing in the purchase of a property that has similar characteristics to those they already have so that they do not have to decrease the size of their current facilities.
“Although we have land to extend the facilities, we prefer to stay with the many gardens that are inside the property. Another option is to reduce the size of our rooms but it is also not something to consider as we prefer that clients enjoy the comfort,” said the spokeswoman of the complex, Cecilia Esquivel.
At the City Express San Jose, a 134-room hotel located diagonally to the Cariari shopping center, the relationship with the Costa Rica Convention Bureau (which is already promoting the CNCC internationally) has been strengthened and modifications have been made to the building.
The Double Tree by Hilton Cariari also opted to go even closer with the Convention Bureau to stay up to date on the progress of the project and thus capture the largest amount of business possible. Likewise, they bet on a greater variety and quality of their gastronomic offer.
Miguel Eugene, the general manager of Double Tree, said that they are considering greater revenue in the business, group and congress segments for the last two-quarters of 2018.
This hotel is located at the intersection of San Antonio de Belén, Ciudad Cariari, and has 22 rooms.
The Wydham San José Herradura, for its part, has been training for two years in organizing world conventions and is now part of the International Association of Congresses and Conventions (ICCA).
In addition to this, two years ago, they formed a sister company to attract international congresses after identifying more than 500 congresses that could be held in Costa Rica.
This complex is in front of the Mall Real Cariari and has 230 rooms.
Finally, the Hilton Garden Inn, located in La Sabana and with 115 rooms, focuses on making an information display through all its marketing channels.
Nacioncom. (2017, 2). Hoteleros construyen planes de negocio alrededor del nuevo centro de convenciones . [Weblog]. Retrieved 21 February 2017, from http://www.nacion.com/economia/empresarial/Hoteleros-construyen-negocio-alrededor-convenciones_0_1615038563.html