Invest: Miami speaks to Robert Hill, General Manager

Miami’s hospitality industry continues to be a strong driver for its economy. We see remarkable occupancy rates of 90 percent in this market. At InterContinental Miami, we have seen double-digit growth rates over the past three years. This year the rate has settled back to single-digit levels but continues to be strong. In particular, our growth is driven by corporate meetings, which comprise 65 percent of our business. Within that, we are seeing a higher level of meetings and events choosing Miami as their destination; that is, more managed funds and banking groups that are willing to pay a premium for quality of service.

With respect to food and beverage, we continue to see double-digit growth, both on our banquet side, generated by our core business of meetings and events bookings, as well as our signature restaurant, Toro Toro. An interesting development is that the restaurant numbers reflect an increasingly local consumer base; 60 percent of Toro Toro guests are area residents.

Miami’s distinct flavor is hip, cool and reflective of an international vibe. This flavor is reflected in our aesthetic choices. For instance, moving images and light displays on LED screens on the hotel’s exterior light up the skyline, which works with the energy, mood and the feel of Miami.

While international visitors continue to drive Miami’s tourism industry, we are seeing domestic growth. Latin American economies have slowed this year, resulting in a decline in visitors from the region. Yet our numbers are up because the majority of meetings and events business is coming to us from the U.S. As Miami continues to develop its infrastructure and expand its cultural offerings, the community will continue to attract more guests from new markets. This way, we can offset the shortfall in the down times.