February 23, 2024


Travel Anywhere

Increased leisure demand drove the start of an industry rebound in 2021

Early in 2021, expectations by field analysts were being that it would be a year of modest but constructive restoration for the Canadian hotel sector as restrictions had been lifted and demand from customers from all segments slowly returned.

In accordance to Avison Young’s Canada Hotel Industry 2021 Evaluation and 2022 Outlook, whilst every month occupancy concentrations for 2021 in Canada were being even now not in line with 2019, they did display significant development in 2021 when compared with the struggles of 2020. In August 2021, the report showed, nationwide occupancy degrees arrived at 65.6 per cent — the optimum considering that Oct 2019.

In December exclusively, year-conclusion facts from STR confirmed Canada followed its standard seasonal pattern with marginally lessen overall performance than November, but the country did attain much better pre-pandemic comparisons. Occupancy was down 13.4 per cent to 42.6 for every cent, ADR dropped 2.5 for each cent to $149.85 and RevPAR fell 15.5 for each cent to $63.87.  

“Despite a surge in COVID cases towards the latter 50 % of December, lodges in Canada benefited from leisure demand from customers for the duration of the holiday break months,” says Laura Baxter, CoStar Group’s director of hospitality analytics for Canada. “While the holiday break demand from customers was anticipated, overall performance was also assisted by a carry in group demand from customers, which rose to 70 per cent of the 2019 equivalent —the closest the metric has been to that marker given that the pandemic began.

She states when examining total-12 months overall performance, pent-up need from the domestic current market state-of-the-art overall performance above the summer, “signaling the start out of a a lot much better 2nd fifty percent of the 12 months. Against the backdrop of fluctuating demand from customers patterns, however, hoteliers targeted on what was inside of their handle, which was how costs turned the achievements story of the calendar year. By Q4, month-to-month space charges achieved 90 to 99 for every cent of 2019 amounts. Weekend premiums ended up particularly powerful, surpassing pre-pandemic amounts in November and December, while weekday rates were not far too much at the rear of with only five to 10 proportion factors to go.”

With very couple of exceptions, our Top rated 35 providers recorded advancement in gross sales for the calendar year ending 2021, signalling a transform in the tides and trigger for renewed hope as the state moved into article-pandemic recovery method.

Perspective from the best

Collectively, Hotelier’s Top 35 organizations posted an approximated gross product sales of $9.2 billion for 2021,with our best 4 businesses (Four Seasons Motels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels of Canada, Accor and Best Western Resorts & Resorts) accounting for $4.8 billion of that complete.

Four Seasons Lodges & Resorts once yet again led the pack last 12 months with an approximated $2.4 billion in sales globally for its 126 luxury properties.

“In a time of unparalleled change and obstacle for our organization and the complete hospitality business, we continue to innovate, remaining flexible in our programs and nimble in our skill to capitalise on opportunities, while preserving momentum in the direction of our very long-time period aims,” said John Davison, president and CEO, Four Seasons Inns and Resorts in a 2021 launch. “The impacts of the pandemic continue on, and we are tackling these problems as they come. However additional than ever, we are confident in the prolonged-term results of the enterprise.”

Most not too long ago, Four Seasons introduced its expansion in Europe with a assets in Italy’s southern region of Puglia. The firm will also go on to increase its Spanish portfolio with a vacation resort in Mallorca, as the brand will regulate the historic Resort Formentor, introducing it as a Four Seasons experience in 2023.

Marriott Lodges of Canada, in the meantime, landed in second location on the Major 35 Report, reporting gross profits of $1.3 billion throughout its 262 Canadian attributes (up from $967.7 in 2020). The corporation ended 2021 with cautious optimism for 2022. For the duration of an expense simply call held in February 2022, CEO Tony Capuano said the corporation finished the yr “on a real substantial observe,” with the Omicron variant getting a “limited impact” on benefits in the fourth quarter. 

Sitting in third position in this year’s Best 35 Report, Accor recorded a $166-million greenback maximize more than 2020, reporting gross product sales of $628 million across its 29 Canadian homes for 2021.

“Despite a disrupted start off of the yr thanks to over-all overall health restrictions, 2021 confirmed important advancement in our business, as of the spring, with traits finding-up month following thirty day period proper up to December,” states Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Accor. “Our stable performances ended up accomplished owing to the strength of our brands, our economical self-control and the sterling efforts of our teams who, in the course of the calendar year, shown determination, tenacity and generosity. Many thanks to their mobilization, we emerge stronger from this disaster and have acquired marketplace shares in all our important areas.”

During 2021, Accor opened 288 hotels, representing 41,000 rooms, ensuing in a web expansion in the community of three per cent above the 12-month time period. Bazin adds Accor’s pipeline proceeds to flourish, with luxury and upscale segments representing close to 40 for every cent of future openings, a 12-stage raise in the previous four decades.

“As the want to escape and to resume travelling has never ever been much better, we are nicely underway to make the most of this rebound in all our marketplaces.”

Very best Western Hotels & Resorts recorded gross profits of $470 million in 2021 and added 25 Canadian attributes to its portfolio, landing the company in fourth place on this year’s Leading 35 Report.

In October 2021, then incoming president and CEO for Very best Western Lodges Team, Lawrence (Larry) M. Cuculic, informed Forbes that as the industry continues to recuperate, Greatest Western was arranging to bolster its loyalty program, do the job to boost model income and travel development attempts throughout crucial markets in North The us and across the world.

“The stability sheet is more powerful than ever thanks to the organization’s quick reaction applying an intense austerity approach,” he suggests. “Best Western was equipped to present over $65 million in economic reduction to resort homeowners over the previous 18 months, and the brand is seeing each an elevated ADR and occupancy because of to the pent-up demand. In addition to the austerity plan, Very best Western was among the the initially to roll out enhanced cleaning protocols and operational finest methods through the pandemic.”

Assembly Problems

Hotelier’s 2021 Investment Roundtable, sponsored by Marriott Resorts of Canada, was held previous October and sent a message of optimism for the Canadian lodge market, but its participants had been really candid about the troubles 2021 threw at them.

“The final year has been really hard. The most difficult section is all the indecision because of the uncertainty,” said Anil Taneja, managing director, at Palm Holdings, which held constant in 2021 with recorded gross income of $53 million throughout its 20 properties. “Do we develop, or do we renovate, or do we not? Do we set all the things on pause? And on a Monday, you can wake up with all this optimism and on Tuesday, you are heading to wake up and assume, ‘oh my God, I’m crazy’ for what you believed yesterday and let’s set every thing on keep. There was nothing we could do to figure out what the proper solution was, and we’re continue to in that now. There are no ideal answers — you just have to make decisions based on your gut and probable optimism. The hardest factor we experienced to deal with is we misplaced some totally astounding men and women mainly because we experienced no occupancy and that’s a trauma that continue to lives with us as an firm currently.”

Roz Winegrad, AVP, Operator and Franchise Services, Marriott Accommodations of Canada at Marriott Intercontinental, mentioned a great deal of her time was spent with Marriott house owners and franchisees, “providing whichever aid Marriott had been offering throughout the last bubble of 18 months and building positive the operations stayed afloat. We delivered just about every little bit of help from monetary relief to instruments, means, advertising and marketing, sales and trying to remain as nimble as we can.”

“It’s been the perfect storm from just about every angle — absolutely nothing we at any time assumed we would see in our life span,” claimed Serge Primeau, president of Montreal-based Urgo Lodges, whose enterprise grew by leaps and bounds in 2021, recording gross gross sales of $150 million, up from only $25 million in 2020. “It was a rollercoaster. Now we come to feel there may possibly be mild at the end of the tunnel, but we’re working with staff shortages so which is yet another storm…and retaining and maintaining our expertise pool has also been a massive obstacle about the time — we succeeded in undertaking so, but it essential a large amount of effort and hard work.”

Labour Pains

Primeau was not on your own in the labour challenge as quite a few hoteliers identified them selves turning down enterprise when occupancy levels started to increase in 2021 as personnel shortages became a significant difficulty.

In accordance to Avison Young’s Canada Lodge Industry 2021 Review and 2022 Outlook, pre-pandemic, the lodging and foodservice sector accounted for 6.4 per cent of the Canadian labour force, but in 2021, this proportion fell to 5.1 per cent.

“Hotel house owners report that staff members both moved to other industries with more protected work, or that it built extra economical perception for some employees to proceed collecting authorities assist,” the report states. “The community and personal sectors should come across strategies to handle the situation of workers shortages.” On December 17, 2021, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Advancement and Disability Inclusion announced up to $67 million in funding to guidance Canada’s tourism-and-hospitality sector through the Sectoral Initiatives Software (SIP). Budget 2021 committed $1.8 billion above three several years by way of a number of new initiatives that could assist build just about 500,000 new work and teaching possibilities for employees about the coming many years.

Investing in the Foreseeable future

According to Colliers Canada’s 2022 Canadian Resort Financial commitment Report, lodge transaction action is back as pandemic-similar uncertainty and travel limits relieve. The report also states that new rules and laws will shape the financial commitment landscape and decision-earning course of action, but frequently the stress-free of community-wellness and journey limits will assistance establish self-assurance and give a raise in working overall performance.

“There is resilient pent-up need for vacation, notably for leisure, and hybrid leisure/company travel, says the report. “We believe a strong rebound as spring methods is inescapable, with the exception of bigger full-services inns, as team and convention journey desire is envisioned to lag in restoration. Greater urban accommodations must rebound meaningfully over the subsequent 12-additionally months.”

By Amy Bostock