In August 2021, Hyatt’s $2.7 billion outlay to acquire Apple Leisure Group generated high expectations within the hotel industry. The message from the US giant was clear: the potential of the all-inclusive format is on the rise, and the new portfolio – which at the time included 102 hotels from the AMResorts subsidiary – was key.
The first steps to grow after the purchase begin to take shape. In Mexico, the company plans to open Secrets Impression Isla Mujeres in December of this year. This opening is followed by Secrets Impression Moxché, which plans to open in October 2022; Dreams Cozumel Cape Resort & Spa, which will open in September 2022; and Secrets Impression Isla Mujeres, a resort that will start operations in December 2022.
The hotel conglomerate’s plans go beyond Mexico. New openings in Spain and the Dominican Republic are followed by new bets in Europe and even Asia, where AMResorts seeks to expand its product in markets with a strong search for luxury products.
“Being part of the Hyatt family, we have access to more global growth. After being one of the founders of the team of this company, more than 20 years ago, I am very excited to see that we can enter new markets”, Gonzalo del Peón, president for the Americas of AMResorts, tells Expansión .
“We are planning strategies. We have just signed a contract to enter Bulgaria, where we never would have thought to enter, which has some very beautiful beaches on the Black Sea. There are other projects that we have possibly to enter Asia in vacation destinations,” he added.
In Bulgaria, the company plans to open five new all-inclusive resorts between 2023 and 2024, which will be managed by Terra Tour Service EOOD under the brands Secrets Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas and Alua Hotels & Resorts, in complexes which will be subject to a series of renewals.
For the manager, the growth of the ‘all-inclusive’ came before the pandemic, but its attractiveness as a business model stood out at a time when other formats, such as the European plan, were pressured to compete with the all- even on the beaches, and the drop in demand in the cities.
“There are destinations where it is unlikely to see profitable hotels that are not ‘all inclusive’. More competitors have followed that model, and we were lucky to be part of the pioneers in that sector, including especially the luxury all-inclusive segment for adults only, it has been a very innovative concept that we brought with the Secrets brand” , Explain.
In the operational area, Del Peón perceives an uncertainty due to inflation that could lead to a drop in the intention to travel of consumers, which has also pushed up rates. However, for the manager it has been more convenient to keep rates at a high level even when it may lead to fewer occupations.
“For now, it has been feasible to pass on the price and raise rates, including in some cases to the level of lowering occupancies with higher rates, which for hotels even improves performance; it wears out the asset less and the total utility is higher when there is less occupancy, but with a higher rate, than reaching the same income for having a higher occupancy but with a lower rate”, he concludes.