And so, we are almost at the close of 2021. January is just around the corner, and people all over the world are walking down memory lane, reminiscing over this tough, yet (hopefully) rewarding year. We at Alliance Hospitality are not an exception, which is why we decided that there is no better to give grace to 2021 than looking at our articles that gained the biggest amount of appreciation from our dear followers. Here is the roundup of our top-3 performers.
Our first piece of news brought us to Africa, where a major deal was signed almost a year ago, in January 2021. It looks like, despite the difficult times, investors still looked out for relevant deals, which in turn signals positive sentiment for the mid- and long-term outlook. The AccorInvest's portfolio changing hands and coming under the wing of a domestic African firm was a great example of the continent's high potential not only as a travel hotspot but also as a successful owner-operator of the hospitality assets!
Diving into the details a little bit, we discovered that the properties at stake consisted of truly impressive 1,602 keys and were based in Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Cameroon, which are all growing at a steady pace and are expected to continue doing so in the mid and long terms. Moreover, these countries’ economies are quite highly dependent on tourism – specifically contributing 8%, 10%, and 7% to the respective GDPs. At times like these, such an investment may have been crucial for the countries in question and also showed the seriousness and commitment Kasada – the South African buyer - exposed when talking about their ambition to turn Sub-Saharan Africa into a travel hotspot.
The next hero of the passing year is the worldwide famous tech giant. While the travel and tourism industry was looking for help from all possible sources, Google seemed to have stepped up to action. Launching several instruments targeted at all those interested in bringing safe and sustainable travel - and with it, hundreds of thousands of jobs and economic growth - back to life, the tech giant not only provided the much-needed support but also got its foot into the tourism sector door even further.
Specifically, three separate instruments aimed at different audiences were launched as a part of the initiative: Destination Insights, Hotel Insights, and Travel Analytics Center. While the first two were available to anyone interested, the latter one was reserved for Google’s commercial partners in the travel sector (which could be a good investment for many tech-savvy properties). Since the statistics are still being summed up, it is a bit too early to speak of the results, however, the move in itself was much appreciated by the industry.
Finally, we have focused on what was going on in one of the most ambitious regions in the world – China. Although 2020 was a chilly winter for hoteliers, the number of newly opened high-end hotels in the second quarter in China surpassed that of 2019, reaching 32 properties (approximately 25 properties/quarter before the pandemic), and the third quarter even added 50 new hotel supplies to the market. The supply of newly added high-end hotels was concentrated in boutique hotels and international high-end hotels, most of which were less than 100 rooms (31.7%) and 201-300 rooms (50%), while hotels with more than 300 rooms have shown negative growth. In this round of recovery in the hotel industry, the mid-to-high-end hotel industry was particularly popular among consumers in China, especially with international travelers staying domestic, they tended to look for quality destinations and accommodations within China. While this data captures the state of the market a year ago, it might be a good source for further predictions, especially given that the majority of industry experts forecast a rather lukewarm comeback for hospitality in 2022.
Overall, the year was full of surprises – both good and bad – and we hope the next one would give a steady platform for those of you looking for stability and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those looking to jump on and risk it all! Thank you for staying with us throughout 2021 and see you next year, our dear friends!