Covid19 hotel development analysis: Selina

by | 12 Aug 2020 | Portfolio

The Selina Hotel in Cancun, Mexico (Picture: Selina)

Combining information in the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database with revealing statements from its co-founder, we consider how Selina’s hotel development pipeline is holding up amid the pandemic.

As a hospitality company that prides itself on being custom-built for today’s nomadic travellers, Selina has of course not been immune to the Covid19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions on movement imposed by so many governments.

Founded by Rafael Museri and Daniel Rudasevski in Panama in 2015, Selina has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last five years and now boasts sites across Latin America, North America, Europe and the Middle East. In February 2020, Museri told TOPHOTELNEWS that the business had grown to 65 locations globally, while many more were under development.

But will the company, which provides accommodation, coworking space, recreational activities, wellness services and local experiences, have to curb its ambitions as a result of the global health emergency?

No signs of a slowdown at Selina

According to the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database, which focuses on four- and five-star schemes of significant scale, Selina had 21 projects in progress with none on hold and none cancelled as of 3 August 2020.

Our researchers report that the eponymous Selina brand will soon have new sites across countries as diverse as the US, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, the UK, Germany and Israel. And remarkably, it appears that none of its developments have been mothballed or scrapped because of Covid19 – a claim that few other global hospitality companies can make right now.

Admittedly, this may change if the authorities decide to tighten restrictions further in future to slow the spread of the outbreak, but for now at least it seems to be largely business as usual.

The secret behind Selina’s ongoing expansion

All of this begs the question, why is Selina bucking the wider industry trend?

A fascinating LinkedIn article posted by Museri in May 2020, entitled A Window into the Future, perhaps sheds some light on the company’s unusual approach. While acknowledging that the Covid19 crisis has had an impact on its employees, guests and local communities, he goes on to assert: “Travel will come back, but it’s going to be different. A younger generation will lead it and search for affordable, remote destinations that enable them to work as they go.”

He added: “History teaches us that global crises can permanently change certain behaviours and habits. As a result of these changes, new opportunities will arise and brands that are able to transform and innovate will emerge stronger than ever.”

So while traditional hospitality companies count the cost of the pandemic, it seems Selina is banking on the brand’s reputation among younger demographics for being both affordable and innovative to help it survive and thrive in the post-Covid world.



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