Hyatt’s SVP of development talked with Hotel News Now about the company’s targeted development approach and how its brands stand out in a crowded brand landscape, particularly in Latin America.
QUITO, Ecuador—A narrow development focus allows Hyatt’s brands to find certain advantages its larger counterparts may not have in regions around the world such as Latin America, the company’s development leader said.
“We’re a fraction of the size of the companies we’re most often compared to,” David Tarr, SVP of real estate and development at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, said in an interview at the recent South America Hotel Investment Conference. “The reason why we play above our weight in terms of brand recognition is because we really focus on picking our spots very carefully. Our focus therefore has to be on primary cities that have good international trade where we believe our brands can ramp more quickly. We’re focused on building our resort profile. The reason for that is simple: In order to grow preference for our brands, we need to build a loyalty program around having options.”
A week after this interview, Hyatt announced its 20th brand, Caption, in the lifestyle, select-service segment.
Hyatt in recent years has grown in the Caribbean and Latin America from eight hotels to about 50, and currently has a pipeline of about 20 projects in the region, Tarr said.
“We think about our business more globally today than ever before,” he said, noting that development tends to focus on regions that are more attractive to travelers out of Asia, where Hyatt has grown brand recognition over 50 years.
The company also is focused on growing its all-inclusive brands, Ziva and Zilara, as well as brands which appeal to guests seeking immersive travel experiences, which include the four lifestyle brands acquired as part of Two Roads Hospitality in October 2018, Tarr said.
He said Hyatt isn’t concerned about Marriott International’s recent launch of an all-inclusive program, which he said differs from Hyatt’s approach in at least one notable way.
“Marriott is a great company; they have their own strategies for how they want to go about what they do. They’re bringing, as I understand it, all-inclusive into their existing brands. We took a different approach,” Tarr said.
“We felt it was important to create clarity around our all-inclusive brands. We don’t have any immediate plan to make all-inclusive be a part of our existing brands. We certainly have hotels that are resort hotels that will periodically introduce purchasing programs where you can pair your stay with other elements such as food and beverage. But as a general statement, Ziva and Zilara are our all-inclusive brands, and as we introduce them into the region, we intend for it to be Ziva and Zilara almost exclusively.”
- For more on Marriott’s plans for its all-inclusive platform, watch HNN’s interview with Laurent de Kousemaeker, the company’s chief development officer for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Watch HNN’s video interview with Tarr below for more on Hyatt’s brand development strategy: