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Hyatt’s acquisition of Apple Leisure Group will boost its leisure portfolio, says GlobalData

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Leading US hotel group, Hyatt, is buying resorts operator, Apple Leisure Group, for US$2.7bn, expanding its luxury leisure offerings. The strong recovery of luxury travel alongside the geographical expansion of Hyatt’s market portfolio point to future gains for the company, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Apple Leisure operates 100 all-inclusive luxury resorts across various brands, including, but not limited to, Sunscape Resorts and Spas alongside Secrets Resorts and Spas. This addition will dramatically increase Hyatt’s luxury portfolio, which is already largely centered on this market.

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The recovery of luxury travel looks promising. GlobalData’s forecasts suggest that room nights occupied for luxury hotels (across 60 major markets) will encounter a greater year on year (YoY) increase (69.7%) in 2021 than budget (59%).

“The greater recovery of the luxury segment is likely reflective of the increase in both demand and supply for luxury offerings in 2021, and is a promising sign for the expanded Hyatt portfolio. The doubling of Hyatt’s resort offering will mesh well with increased luxury leisure travel demand during the COVID-19 recovery period. With business travel demand set to remain low for the foreseeable, this acquisition will allow Hyatt to bolster its position in a market expected to recover faster.”

GlobalData’s live poll* found that 28% of global respondents now have a much higher (16%) or slightly higher (12%) budget for holidays, showing that there is clearly a band of consumers looking to spend extra on their next vacation.

For some consumers, national lockdowns and international travel restrictions have meant more time at home. This has allowed savings to be made and travel budgets have increased for some. Therefore, some travelers are willing to pay more, seeking luxury breaks, and mark a special occasion on their next getaway.

Bonhill-Smith adds: “Recent lodging trends show other hoteliers already expanding their luxury portfolios. August 2021 saw InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) announce plans to launch a new luxury resort brand to increase its growth. Marriott has also declared that it intends to increase its all-inclusive resort offering.

“Apple Leisure Group is already one of the largest tour operators for package holidays in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. This deal will increase Hyatt’s European portfolio by 60%, intensifying competition with the likes of Marriott, Hilton and IHG.”