Hilton Worldwide Inc. and Marriott International Inc. (MAR) are heading a drive to invest as much as $1.8 billion over the next four years in Peru to handle surging tourist demand, an industry group said.
Other hotel chains including Hyatt Hotels Corp. (H), Accor SA (AC) of France, Portugal’s Grupo Pestana SGPS SA and Colombia’s GHL Grupo de Hoteles and Hoteles Estelar Colombia SA are studying projects in Lima and cities such as Cuzco, Arequipa and Trujillo, said Jose Koechlin, president of Peru’s Hotel Association.
“Any new hotel capacity is immediately absorbed by growing demand, like the Lima Westin (HOT) last year,” Koechlin said today in an interview in Lima. “This is in line with President Ollanta Humala’s goal of making tourism Peru’s second-biggest revenue earner.”
An estimated 2.8 million tourists visited attractions such as the Machu Picchu Inca citadel and Colca Canyon this year, a 12 percent increase from 2011, according to the Andean country’s Ministry of Foreign Trade & Tourism. Peru’s $3.5 billion tourism industry is the country’s fourth-largest revenue earner after minerals, crude oil and agricultural produce.
Marriott is looking to invest $104 million in hotels in Cuzco, Trujillo and Lima, while Hilton plans to invest $65 million in Cuzco and Lima, according to figures from the Hotel Association.