As the 45th President of the United States is inaugurated today, Hospitality on takes a look at his hotel empire and the strategic perspectives it offers. From sky scrapers in Manhattan to Irish manors, which hotels belong to the Trump Hotels Collection? What markets does the family-owned company of the new President address; what are the perspectives?
[Interactive Map: click to see the details of each property]
As Donald Trump prepares to be inaugurated as 45th President of the United States and assume his job as the country's leader, the time is right to look at his weight in the hotel sector. As a reminder, last January 11, he turned the management of his group over to his two sons, Eric and Donald Junior, alongside the group's CEO Allen Weisselberg. He also made the commitment to sign no new contracts for his group abroad during his mandate, in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
The Trump Collection portfolio currently consists of 14 hotels, for 4,598 rooms. These properties are all positioned on the upscale segment (5-star) and are primarily located in North America. Internationally, in addition to a hotel in Panama, three units are located outside the Americas in Ireland and Scotland. These hotels have received a great deal of coverage recently since the billionaire lost 31.8 million dollars, and has not paid taxes which are due, according to The Guardian. Just a few days after the election, while staying at the Trump Turnberry in Scotland (recently renovated), he made his famous declaration about Brexit, which he considers "a great thing".
The hotel portfolio operated under the 45th American President's brand -because it must be recalled that brands are often about licenses, of which Trump is neither owner nor operator- thus mostly addresses the domestic American market, and is entirely positioned in the Anglo-Saxon world. This gives the Trump Collection ideal positioning to capitalize on the dynamic futures resulting from the economic policy in the United States, without being exposed subject to its implications on the economic dynamics outside the USA and United Kingdom. Nonetheless, it must be observed that through the non-hotel-related real estate, the Trump Organization overall is also present on certain other markets (Trump Towers in India, the Philippines, and Istanbul...).
In the hotel universe, with fewer than 5,000 rooms the Trump Collection remains modest in size: it is not even among the Top 200 chains worldwide 2016 (where the 200th has more than 7000 rooms). Today, the chain is small, particularly considering its international renown, and projects to grow the Trump Collection in China have been frozen; from a strictly economic point of view it would be logical for the collection to expand and finally grow outside America's borders... even if the current priority is certainly "America First". It should also be observed that the group has developed significantly there recently, inaugurating a new 265-room hotel in Washington D.C. and another 643-room property near Miami's airport.
At the end of 2016, the group also announced its intention to diversify on the lifestyle segment soon revealing a new brand, "Scion", targeting Millennials. This is an underlying dynamic of the sector and a strategy shared by many hotel groups worldwide, showing that the Trump family group also knows how to pay attention to trends. In this specific case, this could also be an opportunity for the group to develop through a more "neutral" brand politically speaking, even in America where developers believe that the Trump brand should benefit from fresh air brought by the very vocal supporters of the 45th President of the United States of America.
It remains to be seen if the development of this new brand and the group overall will happen during this presidential pause. But in the mid- and long-term, it is already almost certain.
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