Hotel and Travel Trends to Know When Booking Corporate Events in latin america
The impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry has had ripple effects throughout meetings and events. Now, with increased vaccine rollouts and safety protocols well in place, we are seeing more and more face to face meetings happening. With a changed landscape for hotels and venues, sourcing corporate events has also seen an evolution.
Continue reading to find current hotel sourcing trends for the following Latin America countries:
Sourcing Trends in Argentina
- Corporate demand is at a slow pace for Q4 and early 2022
- Current occupancy range: 20-30% depending on markets. Above 2020, but still below 2019 levels
- No compression being noticed currently. Estimated forecast 20-30% occupancy for the balance of 2021 and 50% for 2022
- Rates are trending lower than 2020 and not recovered yet
- Groups are smaller 10-50 pax, but also seeing 50-100 pax
- Leisure demand is picking up faster than corporate, high demand on weekends, long weekends and vacation
- Some hotel chains are working on a first-come-first served basis to secure spaces, deposits can be required to secure space
- Social distancing is still in place and is subject to government guidelines
Key takeawaysOccupancy levels and rates show slow recovery for the balance Q4 2021 and first part of 2022. Consult with your NSOs prior to sourcing to identify best opportunities. Look for attractive rates and concessions and flexible T&C’s cancellations, attrition, rebooking policies. Remember hotels may be securing spaces on first-come first-served basis, so be prepared to act quickly. Read entire contract and fine print, review for all legal clauses, especially cancellation and rebooking.
Sourcing Trends in Brasil
- Air Travel: occupancy is expected between 70-90% from late Q3-Q4 (compared to 2019 levels). People fully vaccinated are willing to travel which is increasing the leisure demand.
- In the Northeast of the country, demand is high due to beaches and good weather year-round
- Occupancy expected above 110% in Q4 (compared to 2019)
- High usage of meeting rooms and banquet facilities in hotels in large capitals, but low room occupancy
- This indicates that customers prefer closer locations to avoid travel and accommodation and short events
- September through November 2021 seeing large events, congresses and fairs pick up. Seeing quicker recovery than expected
Leisure is performing at high levels and events are increasing and coming back in Q4. Customers are seeing a lack of interest from their audience to continue virtual events and customers are now opting to hold off until they can meet in person. For large conventions in Q1, 2022 many parts of the region have limited availability and high demand is expected as vaccination will have peaked and most companies will want to gather their teams in the new year.
We're beginning to see an uptick in international incentives RFPs. Today, border restrictions are a barrier, but destinations such Cancun, Punta Cana and neighboring countries such Argentina and Chile will be in high demand once borders open. Leisure demand is high, while airlines have not returned with full capacity. These capacity limitations is driving ticket cost up which will possibly drive interest in international opportunities by the end of this year.
Sourcing Trends in Colombia
- For leisure, people are willing to travel locally since restrictions have been lifted
- Seeing a reactivation of domestic flights
- Hotel occupancy is at about 40% in main cities such as Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena
- High increase compared to the beginning of 2021
- Clients fatigued of virtual event and are restarting face-to-face meetings, specially in the pharma sector
- Average size is currently from 10-50 pax despite no restrictions on the number of people allowed to meet
- Seeing a few large groups of 100 pax traveling domestically during the last months, more in process. These events are being hosted in Cartagena and Santa Marta
- In the Pharma sector, seeing that only vaccinated HCPs can participate in face-to-face events which is mandated by clients in order to proceed with the registration and meeting invitation
Key takeawaysHotel occupancy is at about 40% in main cities (Bogota, Cartagena, Medellín). Demand is mainly being generated by leisure travel, social events such as weddings and small meetings. Currently there are no restrictions for traveling to Colombia. There is an increase in operation projected for Q4, volume of requests is showing a very positive trend. Suppliers are being more flexible with contracts and restrictions such as cancelation policy, changes and deposit reimbursement. The vaccination program in Colombia is moving fast, above 20 years old are being vaccinated.
Sourcing Trends in Costa Rica
- Hotels are holding space, but in may cases only if a client requests a contract or on a first-come-first serve basis
- Customers are requesting flexible clauses in contracts to secure space and hold events and groups
- Due to health & safety protocols and local governance, larger spaces are being requested to accommodate groups
- Outdoor spaces are in high demand
- Social distancing and health & safety protocols are anticipated to be maintained in 2021 and 2022 and will be adjusted according to local regulations
- Hotels are offering attractive rates for the leisure segment which is driving occupancy levels. Group rates are increasing due to compression in some destinations driven by leisure.
Key takeawaysIn Central America, average occupancy in cities is 40% and 50% in beach destinations. Current occupancy levels are showing strong signs of recovery in most markets and all hotel chains are prioritizing health & safety protocols. Remember to have all approval process in place to ensure quick signature execution and to avoid losing space or seeing price increase. Flexibility is critical for location, dates and pattern-be open to alternative destinations/options.
Sourcing Trends in Mexico
- Leisure demand in Mexico City is seeing a slow recovery. Hotels close to the airport are been used as transit vehicle to quarantine before flying to the U.S.
- For small meetings, hotels with outdoor spaces are top of mind for corporate meetings
- Customers are not comfortable with indoor air-conditioned facilities. If the meeting space is indoor, clients looking to have windows to allow fresh air to circulate
- Social distance recommendations are non-negotiable
- Local and driving locations are preferred vs. locations requiring air travel
- Face-to-face meetings average size are currently from 15 to 50 pax
Hotels are divided between holding spaces and offering on first-come-first serve basis but all of them are open to negotiation especially where a strong partnership is in place. Customers need to be flexible to secure the event since the competition is increasing in some destinations. Hotels need to be flexible to accommodate for last minute change of reservation dates. Secondary cities like Guadalajara, Monterrey, Mérida and Cabo still have availability for Q4 2021 but seeing a higher demand for Q1 2022. Currently, San Miguel de Allende government has set entrance restrictions. People are required to show hotel reservation number or proof of residency to be allowed the enter the city. Mexico is strengthening their vaccination process; the current vaccine range is 18-29 years old and above for nationals and visitors, and are free.