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The JW Marriott in Bogota, Colombia, has won raves since it opened in 2010. (Photo: Marriott)
The JW Marriott in Lima, Peru, located right by the ocean and in the Miraflores area. (Photo: Marriott)
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Road Warrior

Road Warrior: Martin Alvarez, G4S


Martin Alvarez, president of G4S Latin America and the Caribbean, on his favorite hotels and restaurants.

BY LATINVEX STAFF

Martin Alvarez is based in Panama City, Panama, from where he travels to the rest of Latin America three weeks each month.

“Panama is well located,” he says. “It’s the hub of the Americas. You can reach every single one of the cities we support with multiple flights a day. And getting in and out of the airport is simple. It has very efficient facilities. Not too big, not too small. Very manageable.”

Tocumen international airport in Panama City is considered one of Latin America’s most efficient airports among business travellers, according to several reader surveys.

Although G4S has its Latin America headquarters in South Florida, Alvarez – a former executive of Dell and DHL who assumed his role last month – opted to stay in Panama due to the flight connections and the fact that the country has become a growing center for multinationals operating in Latin America.

“Panama is very international,” he says. “I …visit a lot of customers that have their headquarters here.”

Latinvex asked him to share his favorite hotels in Latin America and what he likes and dislikes about traveling in the region.

What are your favorite hotels?

I'm a big fan of Marriott with the JW across the region.

I especially like the JW in Bogota and Lima. Both very nice properties. The differentiator is the service when you’re in their properties. They are focused on the business travelers’ needs.

What are your favorite restaurants?

Peru is a great place. And Argentina. Two locations to eat well.

Argentina for all traditional meat and Peru for local cuisines.  

What do you like most about traveling in Latin America?

It’s a region that’s very warm and receiving. … It’s a region where people are concerned with spending time with you, not just for business, but also personally, to show you the best of their countries. ..

A lot of people view Latin America as one region, but [there is a big] diversity between the countries. We all speak Spanish, but have different cultures and different cuisines.  

That’s fascinating. There’s more diversity and wealth of cultures than people imagine within one region.

What do you like the least?

Not being with my family. It’s a tough challenge, but part of my business and career.

Even though I am based in Panama and get quickly direct flights.

Other factors?

For sure, the traffic in some of the countries. To have a productive agenda is a challenge. You have to set the agenda based on reality. You can’t be in four places in Sao Paulo in one day or even in Bogota.  I’d love to visit more customers if I could.

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