It was a perfect Sun, Sand and Study Tour
It was a perfect Sun, Sand and Study Tour

Neil Shah

Regional Managing Director, Americas (RICS)

According to Publilius Syrus, Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

plaza vieja

We at RICS follow the same mantra of leading from the front and often in stormy seas!  As a thought leader in the property profession, we have an agenda and a mandate to be the voice of the industry.

We focus on helping the industry, governments, institutions and professionals stay trained and updated on standards, policies and best practice. We deliver thought leadership through a myriad of platforms. Never scared of trying something new, we decided to conduct a study tour. The idea was to blend the best of the content at RICS conferences together with a premium destination experience. 

For our first endeavor, we picked Havana, Cuba. Apart from being an exotic location, there were a few other key compelling factors;

  • Cuba’s decades long isolation and subpar growth in the built environment creating a vacuum as well as a mountain of growth opportunity
  • Recent developments related to the opening of the certain sectors of the economy
  • History with the United States – from a colony to a partner and to an adversary in recent years. Changes to US foreign policy recently announced by President Trump made the trip even more intriguing
  • Uniqueness of the Cuban real estate and construction industry which many are not familiar outside of Cuba
  • As one of the more educated and larger population centers in the Caribbean, there is an opportunity to expose the local industry and professionals to the options available through RICS to get on par with their global compatriots

Our goal with Destination Havana was to enable delegates not only to network with subject matter experts, local professionals and each other but to also live the experience by seeing and touching the very topics they heard in a conference room.

Other organizations can try this, but only RICS, with the breadth and depth of disciplines and global reach, can bring professionals from all walks of life together to create a holistic experience like the Cuba Study Tour. 

The tour was a resounding success. It wasn’t all work and no play. We had some great moments socializing with delegates and local professionals. My vision is to use this tour as a model to create similar robust learning and networking opportunities for professionals and industry stakeholders.

Stay tuned for more communication and comment on my photography skills on our Facebook page. If you’re a Twitter fan, follow #RICSCuba for the vibrant discussion we had on a daily basis during and after the event

You are always invited to share your personal feedback with me directly. 

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