By Neeraj Gangal
Jumeirah’s priority is to operate hotels in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro - official.
Dubai's Jumeirah Group plans to open its first hotels in Brazil as rising incomes in Latin America’s largest economy and the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic games generate demand, according to a report.
“The time is right now for us to be entering the Brazilian market,” James Erlacher, senior vice president of development for the Americas at the Dubai-based Jumeirah Group, told the Bloomberg newswire in an interview in New York.
Jumeirah’s priority is to operate hotels in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s biggest cities, and it’s also considering resorts “primarily in the northeast part of the country,” Erlacher said.
According to the newswire, The Four Seasons expects to reach agreements with developers of three projects in the next 18 months, including hotels in Sao Paulo and Rio and a beach resort.
Rio got 66 votes in the final round to host the Games, at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Copenhagen in October, while Madrid received 32.
According to an earlier Bloomberg article, the Olympics are expected to draw tens of thousands of people and require a doubling of current hotel space to 50,000 rooms.
Rio’s bid for the games proposed investments of $11.1bn. A government infrastructure program has already committed as much as 70 percent of that, according to the Rio Olympics Committee.
The organisers need to raise the remaining 30 percent, and expect ticket sales and sponsorships to yield $2.82bn.
The games will inject $51.1bn into Latin America’s largest economy through 2027 and add 120,000 jobs a year through 2016, according to a study by a Sao Paulo business school for the Ministry of Sports.
Jumeirah currently operates only one hotel in the Americas, the Essex House in New York, and is developing a polo-themed resort outside of Buenos Aires as well as resorts in Costa Rica, and Saint Thomas, Bloomberg reported.
Jumeirah views Brazil as a “top-tier” priority, Erlacher said. “Brazil is a healthy robust market with good supply and demand dynamics working in its favor,” he told the newswire in the interview.