Brand Finance: Hilton remains world’s most valuable brand

The total value of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands has decreased 33% year-on-year, down from $70.2 billion in 2020 to $47.4 billion in 2021, according to brand value consultancy Brand Finance.

“The hotels sector completely ground to a halt over the previous year; the repercussions of which are demonstrated by the sharp brand value declines for almost all of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands,” said Savio D’Souza, valuation director, Brand Finance. “The sector is a resilient one, however. As the world begins to open back up again, we are already witnessing a strong improvement in bookings and occupancy levels across the board, showcasing the strength of brands despite the turmoil of the last year.”

Hilton once again is the world’s most valuable hotel brand, despite recording a 30% drop in brand value to $7.6 billion. While its revenue has taken a significant hit since the outbreak of the pandemic, the brand is showing confidence in its growth strategy, announcing a further 17,400 rooms to its pipeline, bringing the total to more than 400,000 new rooms planned—an uplift of 8% on the previous year. Hilton also boasts the most valuable hotel portfolio, with its seven brands that feature in the ranking reaching a total brand value of $13.8 billion.

Marriott (down 60% to $2.4 billion) has dropped down to the fifth spot from second, after losing more than half of its brand value. Last year, the brand’s worldwide RevPAR was down 60% from 2019 and global occupancy was just 36% for the year.

Bucking the sector trend as one of only two brands in the ranking to record brand value growth is Hyatt (up 4% to $4.7 billion). Despite the pandemic impacting its performance greatly, net rooms growth has been strong, opening 72 hotels and entering 27 new markets. Furthermore, the brand has continued to execute new signings to maintain its pipeline, which represent more than 40% growth of existing hotel rooms in the future.

Taj is sector’s strongest
In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation. According to these criteria, India-based Taj (brand value $296 million) is the world’s strongest hotel brand, with a brand strength index (BSI) score of 89.3 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.

Booking.com top OTA
Despite Booking.com recording a 19% brand value loss to $8.3 billion, it has overtaken Airbnb (down 67% to $3.4 billion) and Trip.com Group (down 38% to $3.5 billion) to become the most valuable leisure & tourism brand in the world. The fastest falling brand this year, Airbnb, cut a quarter of its workforce last year and was forced to scale back on new initiatives that it had in the pipeline, including luxury resorts and flights.

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