The rise of Asian groups is a groundswell, driven by the boom in the number of hotels in the APAC region, which by 2019 will have become the world’s largest in terms of supply.
Growth came from China
It all started in China. No less than 5 of the world’s top 15 hotel groups are now based in the Middle Kingdom. With one exception, all those with double-digit room growth in the top 20 are Chinese. This 2020 edition of the world ranking is above all marked by a real revolution coming from India: OYO, a group founded in 2013 that only entered the top 10 last year. The Thai Minor Hotel Group entered the world’s Top 20 in 2020. The American groups remain on the offensive and the Europeans on a growth dynamic.
Where does value stand?
To what extent does this translate, or not, into economic and financial power? Because if size matters today, EBITDA and valuation also. What is the basis of a hotel group’s power? Several variables come into play. At a time when many operators are «asset-light» and are developing mainly in franchising or management, the volume of the hotel portfolio under the brand name naturally remains a key dimension, as it is a source of long-term value creation.
Indeed, the fees received by the groups depend on the number of rooms operated under their brands. Because most of these players are listed groups, the enterprise value derived from their share price is an indicator of their financial standing as well as the performance delivered to their shareholders and investors.
Who are the best performers financially?
Today Marriott International is the true all-round champion in the sector: it is the world leader in terms of number of rooms, profitability, and business value. The world’s No. 2 is another American champion, Hilton Worldwide. Slightly below Marriott, he is still boxing in the same category.
Behind the two American champions, the world No. 3 in terms of EBITDA, is the French Accor. This strongly relativizes its fall to 7th in the world in terms of room supply, linked to the explosion of Asian operators, because in terms of profitability and performance, the French remains the first challenger behind Marriott and Hilton. It is ahead of another European player, the British company IHG. The latter remains 4th in the world in terms of both EBITDA and enterprise value. If the Indian OYO has now climbed to 2nd place in terms of room supply, the situation is quite different in terms of profitability and business value.
The top 3 is made up of asset-light players with strong brands that resonate worldwide with business and leisure customers.