Global revenues for Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. were more than $4.4 billion last year, and about 21 percent of the total came from operations outside the United States.
In its annual report, the company — which currently has 627 properties in 52 countries — said it expects to increase its income from international activities in the coming years.
This plan for expanding Hyatt’s international presence is clearly evident in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the company added four new properties to its regional portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2014, and is moving ahead with a string of new full- and select-service hotels for 2015 and onward.
“Over the past couple of years, our expansion and brand-building efforts in the Latin America region have significantly increased,” said Myles McGourty, who took over as senior vice president at Hyatt for Latin America and the Caribbean in November 2007 and is based in Coral Gables.
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“At present, there are 25 Hyatt hotels and resorts in the region,” said McGourty, who was traveling and responded to questions by email.
“Hyatt has expanded its branded hotel portfolio in gateway cities in the region where we know our guests are traveling,” he said. “As a result, we have a mix of owned, managed and franchised hotels. We are constantly working to identify opportunities to selectively grow our brands in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on gateway cities, high quality projects and developers and owners with whom we believe we are culturally aligned.”
Hyatt earns revenue from management and franchise fees, as well as from its company-owned hotels.
Hyatt has 10 brands worldwide and eight of them are present in the region McGourty oversees from Coral Gables. They are Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Andaz and Hyatt Regency hotels (full-service, luxury and upscale brands); Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels (select-service, more economical brands); and Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara hotels (all-inclusive brands, where the lodging price includes other amenities). As an indication of the importance Hyatt assigns to Latin America and the Caribbean, the company launched its two all-inclusive brands in Mexico in 2013, followed by a later opening in Jamaica.
Hyatt’s first hotel in Latin America was the Hyatt Regency Acapulco in 1971, which was followed by more hotels in Chile, Brazil and other nations.
The Latin America and Caribbean headquarters in Coral Gables opened in 2013, but McGourty, previously based in Mexico, has managed the region for eight years. The Coral Gables office, with the support of Hyatt headquarters in Chicago, oversees operations, finance, development, sales and marketing and human resources for the region.
Hyatt’s regional expansion continues to move ahead, and several new properties are slated to open later this year and in 2016. “The first Grand Hyatt hotel in Mexico — Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen — opened in June,” McGourty said. “In Brazil, the country’s second Grand Hyatt hotel — Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro — is expected to open soon, as well as a number of Hyatt Place properties under construction in Sao José do Rio Prieto, Sorocaba and Macaé,” he said.
Moreover, the company is adding new hotels in Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, St. Kitts, Honduras and additional locations in Mexico as it actively expands its Ziva (for families) and Zilara (adults only) all-inclusive brands.
McGourty, a native of Ireland, began his career at Hyatt in 1983 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He worked for the company in Australia and later moved to Latin America where he opened the Hyatt Regency in Santiago, Chile (now the Grand Hyatt Santiago), as general manager in 1991. In 2000, he opened the flagship Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo, introducing the Hyatt brand to Brazil, now a major market for the group. Before heading Latin America, McGourty held a number of management positions and was regional director for South America.
McGourty graduated from the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland. Before joining Hyatt, he worked for other hotel groups in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Hyatt, McGourty says, appeals to both leisure and business travelers through its mix of urban and resort locations. “Our brand portfolio allows for all travelers’ purposes, offering wonderful opportunities for both leisure and business travel — and even a bit of both during the same stay.”
As the company labors to expand its footprint in Latin America and the Caribbean, it faces formidable competitors, but the chain has an edge, McGourty said.
“At Hyatt, we are in the business of caring for people so they can be at their best.
“We continuously listen, learn and evolve our business to both meet and anticipate the needs of our guests, colleagues and owners. Our aim is to create long-term relationships based on the most loved and preferred brand throughout the world. This is our purpose and our edge, and we are aligned as a company around this common goal.”
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Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Business: Hyatt is a global hospitality company that owns, manages and franchises Hyatt-branded hotels, resorts and residential and vacation properties. The company has 627 properties in 52 countries and offers guests 10 brands: Park Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara hotels, plus Hyatt Residence Club (vacation ownership and residential properties). In Latin America and the Caribbean, whose operations are managed from Coral Gables, Hyatt has 25 hotels and resorts under eight Hyatt brands and is expanding its presence throughout the region.
Corporate headquarters: Chicago.
Latin America and Caribbean headquarters: 396 Alhambra Cir., Coral Gables; opened in 2013.
Founded: By Jay Pritzker in 1957.
Regional management: Myles McGourty, senior vice president for Hyatt Latin America and the Caribbean, since 2007.
Revenue: More than $4.4 billion in 2014.
Employees: About 97,000 worldwide at year-end 2014 in Hyatt’s offices, as well as its owned, managed and franchised hotels and residential units. Of that total, about 45,000 were direct employees of Hyatt. The company did not release figures for Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Ownership: Publicly traded company (NYSE: H). Pritzker family members are major shareholders.