Q4 2021 Covid development update: Hyatt Hotels International [Infographic]

by | 03 Nov 2021 | Portfolio

Alila Hinu Bay

The next edition of our exclusive series reveals how development activity’s remained steady at the Chicago-headquartered hospitality giant despite the disruption caused by coronavirus.

It’s fair to say that Covid19 has had a seismic impact on the hospitality industry generally and the top six hotel groups – Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Accor, IHG, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Radisson Hotel Group – in particular. Here, we’re taking a deep dive into how it’s affected Hyatt’s development slate.

Headquartered in Chicago, Hyatt currently has more than 1,000 properties across 68 countries, and 20 premier brands including Park Hyatt, Alila and Andaz in the luxury segment and Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric and The Unbound Collection in the upper-upscale category. This week, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company also completed a blockbuster US$2.7 billion deal to acquire Apple Leisure Group (ALG), which was first announced in August 2021, adding approximately 100 operating hotels and resorts across ten countries to its footprint. But there’s no doubt that the decision by many markets to impose temporary curfews, travel bans and lockdowns since the start of 2020 has taken its toll on the business.

Hyatt’s development slate remains flat

Today, we examine stats drawn from the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database – covering the period prior to the one-off boost provided by ALG – to get a better picture of what’s happened to Hyatt’s development pipeline:

Quarter Date Hotel projects in progress
Q2 2020 04/30/2020 296
Q3 2020 07/02/2020 296
Q4 2020 10/02/2020 298
Q1 2021 01/06/2021 307
Q2 2021 04/13/2021 302
Q3 2021 07/02/2021 302
Q4 2021 10/04/2021 309

What this table shows is that Hyatt had 296 hotel projects in progress as of 13 May 2020, when Covid19 was raging across its North American heartlands. Nearly 18 months later, on 4 October 2021 to be precise, the equivalent figure stood at 309. This 4% increase is much more modest than say the sharp rise of Accor (+8%) or the steep fall of Marriott International (-12%). Its growth rate is fairly flat really, and far short of what we’d normally expect to see from a company capable of raising huge amounts of growth capital on the markets.

In addition, a closer look at the numbers suggests that even this modest climb should be taken with a pinch of salt. Just three months earlier, there were only 302 active schemes on Hyatt’s books, which is barely more than the company had at the outset of the crisis – raising the possibility that the relatively high October 2021 figure is merely a statistical blip, rather than proof that expansion efforts are gathering pace.

Notable highlights from Hyatt’s pipeline

While Hyatt’s development activity remains fairly flat, however, we ought to point out that the company’s still progressing hundreds of projects through to completion – and has continued to do so despite the global health emergency. Plenty of striking schemes have successfully opened their doors in recent months, not least the beachfront Alila Hinu Bay, featuring 112 guestrooms and villas with lagoon or sea views; the VLDG-designed Hyatt Centric 39th & 5th New York, with its vibrant colour palette and art nouveau-style features; and Taoxichuan Hotel, The Unbound Collection’s stunning outpost in China’s porcelain capital.

Hyatt’s also signing plenty of new projects to replace those that have finished too. Among the recent additions that we’ve begun tracking on the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database, for instance, are Park Hyatt Changsha, due to occupy levels 54 to 63 of a landmark development in China’s Hunan province; Alila Shanghai, which will see the conversion of an existing property into a 188-room exclusive urban retreat; and Hyatt Regency Bukhara, set to become the Uzbek city’s first five-star hotel.

Building for a post-Covid future

Essentially, what we’re seeing here is that Hyatt’s pipeline has remained fairly stable since coronavirus took off, avoiding the peaks and troughs experienced by its rivals. The total number of projects in the works will doubtless shoot up now that its bolt-on acquisition of ALG has finally completed – ALG alone has a pipeline of 24 executed deals across the Americas and Europe – but crucially its organic growth rate remains largely unchanged.

As more and more countries roll out measures to tackle Covid19 – from community vaccination programmes to better treatments in healthcare settings – it’ll be interesting to watch if Hyatt eventually feels confident enough to ramp up activity, or if management decides to play it safe and keep building at the same rate as we’ve seen throughout the last 18 months.

Click here to read our exclusive Q4 2021 Covid development update series in full: Marriott International | Hilton Worldwide | Accor | IHG | Hyatt Hotels Corporation | Radisson Hotel Group | Marriott and Hilton slumps hit pipeline

Many TOPHOTELNEWS articles draw on exclusive information from the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database. This subscription-based product includes details of thousands of hotel projects around the world, along with the key decision-makers behind them. Please note, our data may differ from records held by other organisations. Generally, the database focuses on four- and five-star schemes of significant scale; tracks projects in either the vision, pre-planning, planning, under-construction, pre-opening or newly opened phase; and covers newbuilds, extensions, refurbishments and conversions.

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As it continues to grow, Hyatt Hotels Corporation doesn't lose sight of what’s most important - people. Hyatt is a company that was built by family.