Accor said on Monday that it had named Gilda Perez-Alvarado as its group chief strategy officer in charge of overseeing global strategy, relations with hotel owners, and strategic partnerships.
Since 2004, Perez-Alvarado has been at the hotel brokerage firm JLL Hotels & Hospitality, working her way up to become its Global CEO. She’s intimately familiar with the sector’s biggest owners and investors, such as sovereign wealth funds, private equity, global brands, family offices, and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
Perez-Alvarado has spoken about real estate and capital markets at multiple industry events, including at Skift’s Future of Lodging Forum. She will start her new role on October 1, becoming a member of Accor’s management board.
While 2022 was a post-pandemic boom year for hotel demand in much of the world, total global hotel investment volume decelerated slightly to $71.9 billion, a decline of 2 percent relative to 2021. The relative lack of outbound Chinese hotel investment, the Russian war in Ukraine, and recessionary pressures in several markets tamped down the pace of growth.
In 2022, global portfolio transactions dropped 27 percent year-over-year, but small trades spiked. The total number of trades reached an all-time high, meaning that the market had a lot of smaller players and a lot of smaller assets being traded, compared with years with large assets and large portfolios shifted hands. CLICK TO ENLARGE.
There’s been much less ross-border investment in hotels than one might expect for quite some time. The five years before the pandemic, 2015 to 2019), saw cross-border hotel investments account for an average of 17 percent of total global hotel investment volume. Yet in that period, the investment declined as a global total year after year. CLICK TO ENLARGE.
Two of the most eye-catching data points from the report are the growing demand for hotel investment from high-net-worth individuals and the growing presence of these individuals in Singapore.
In fact, 16 percent of the year’s global investment volume was generated by first-time hotel buyers, predominantly comprised of family offices and high net-worth individuals. In Singapore, there are now an estimated 700 family offices, more than double the amount pre-pandemic. Expect this trend to continue in 2023 and beyond as lodging demand accelerates.
Operating performance at many hotels worldwide is getting closer to pre-pandemic levels, according to a Hotels Global Asset Management Report released on Tuesday by JLL Hotels & Hospitality — an investment advisory firm that helps manage more than $6.8 billion in hotel assets.
A few charts from JLL’s report stand out.
Inflation has been rising in much of the world, but hotels have been able to pass along higher rates to customers to keep nearly in sync.
Hotels have been able to keep up even though many have ramped up their capital expenditures on furniture, furnishings, and property upkeep, as this chart suggests:
Can hotels sustain the momentum and continue to price well to cover inflationary pressures? It’s possible. Levels of business travel, especially international and long-haul business travel, remain quite low relative to 2019 levels in many markets. Even in a downturn, companies want to fight for market share by sending colleagues out into the field to close deals. So there may be more room for growth, as this chart suggests:
On Monday Skift published an interview with a top JLL executive, Andrea Grigg, to learn what she’s been hearing in 2023 budgeting sessions at hotels worldwide. Grigg summarized that forecasts are broadly and cautiously optimistic. But she noted that too many hoteliers are trying to restaff to 2019 levels when that often won’t be the route to profitability. Getting better at upselling and cross-selling is a key priority for hotels next year, she said.