As holidays are cancelled and people are instructed to work from home, the hospitality sector has reached an almost complete standstill both from tourism, as well as corporate travel.
As a result, the total value of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands has dropped 33 per cent to US$47.4 billion ($62.7 billion) in 2021, according to the Brand Finance Hotels 50 2021 report.
“The hotels sector has completely ground to a halt over the previous year, the repercussions of which are demonstrated by the sharp brand value declines for almost all of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands,” said Savio D’Souza, valuation director at Brand Finance.
“The sector is a resilient one, however. As the world begins to open back up again, we are already witnessing a strong improvement in bookings and occupancy levels across the board, showcasing the strength of brands despite the turmoil of the last year.”
Hilton retains top spot
Hilton once again is the world’s most valuable hotel brand, despite recording a 30 per cent drop in brand value to US$7.6 billion ($10.1 billion).
While Hilton’s revenue has taken a significant hit since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand is showing confidence in its growth strategy, announcing a further 17,400 rooms to its pipeline, bringing the total to over 400,000 new rooms planned – an uplift of eight per cent on the previous year.
Hilton also boasts the most valuable hotel portfolio, with its seven brands that feature in the ranking reaching a total brand value of US$13.8 billion ($18.2 billion).
Marriott – down 60 per cent to US$2.4 billion ($3.2 billion) – has dropped down to fifth spot from second in 2021, after losing more than half of its brand value.
Last year, the brand’s worldwide revenue available per room was down 60 per cent from 2019, and global occupancy was just 36 per cent for the year.
Hyatt checks into second place
Bucking the sector trend as one of only two brands in the ranking to record brand value growth is Hyatt – up four per cent to US$4.7 billion ($6.2 billion).
Despite the pandemic impacting its performance greatly, Hyatt’s net rooms growth has been strong, opening 72 hotels and entering 27 new markets.
Furthermore, the brand has continued to execute new signings to maintain its pipeline, which represent over 40 per cent growth of existing hotel rooms in the future.
Taj is sector’s strongest
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.
According to these criteria, Taj (with a brand value of US$296 million/$391.2 million) is the world’s strongest hotel brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.3 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.
The luxury hotel chain scored very well in Brand Finance’s Global Brand Equity Monitor for consideration, familiarity, recommendation and reputation, especially across its home market of India.
Taj’s implementation of its five-year plan, which focuses on selling non-core assets, becoming less ownership-driven and reducing dependence on the luxury space; followed by the speedy adoption of its new R.E.S.E.T 2020 strategy, which provides a transformative framework to help the brand overcome the challenge of the pandemic, contributed to the brand’s re-entrance into the ranking for the first time since 2016 in 38th spot.
You can check out the Brand Finance Hotels 50 2021 report in full here.
Featured image source: iStock/LPETTET