Former SVP at Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc
- Hospitality industry key trends and developments, focusing on Hilton (NYSE: HLT)
- Hilton’s hospitality brand positioning in the luxury and upmarket segments vs peers
- Demand trends and post-pandemic recovery scenarios
- Medium-to-long-term outlook and impact of pandemic-driven industry shifts
What are your expectations for the hospitality industry over the next 12 months?
You’ve mentioned the concept of revenge travel, which I assume refers to pent-up demand in leisure travel specifically. What do you expect from this trend? Could this be where most of H2 2021’s potential rebound will come from? Alternatively, could that rebound be more of a mix of business and leisure?
Do you think there could be an up-market shift when leisure travel does return post-coronavirus? You mentioned there can be shifts when people adjust how they typically travel due to budgeting. Could people who have saved during the pandemic due to not spending on other leisure activities trade up instead of down in this environment?
You mentioned Tru by Hilton. Assuming that people will want to take longer holidays after not taking any in 2020, do you think they could trade up vs down when considering an extended stay?
What are your thoughts on the industry’s supply dynamics? How much supply can we expect for year-end 2021 and into 2022? Are any operators developing?
Could you assess the strategies used to launch some of the conversion brands you mentioned? What are some of the results or successes that Hilton or other brands have had with those brands?
How do you think independent chains are performing vs branded properties?
How should we think about Hilton’s added brand value in the current environment?
Do you think there will be significant increases in independent hotels converting to major brands, given how brands have performed throughout the pandemic?
How would you compare the current competitive landscape vs that of previous challenging times? How could that signify who might come out stronger in a post-coronavirus environment?
What did Hilton do across the course of coronavirus to mitigate the impacts on its P&L, considering factors such as cost trims?
How sustainable do you think some of Hilton’s cost trims will be post-coronavirus? You mentioned that some SG&A was cut.
How do you think EBITDA margins will trend over the next year?
Some of your expectations seem to match those of Hilton’s CEO, who called for business travel to rebound in H2 2021. How can this be reconciled with a potential long-term shift to remote work?
What can we learn from Hilton’s rebound in China? I believe it fully rebounded at one point in 2020 until the resurgence in travel restrictions halted that recovery. Could we expect something similar in North America?
What are your expectations for the hotel industry’s RevPAR [revenue per available room] recovery by quarter? How might RevPAR recover if expectations for an H2 2021 rebound for Hilton and the wider industry materialize? Hilton’s RevPAR fell 59% YoY in Q4 2020. How quickly could it return to 2019 RevPAR levels relative to peers?
Who do you think is best- and worst-positioned for a near-term RevPAR recovery? How are some of Hilton’s brands in the luxury and upper-upscale segments such as the Waldorf or the Conrad positioned vs peers?
What are Hilton’s occupancy thresholds to reach break-even profitability, given the depressed demand environment? How might that differ across its brand portfolio – in the franchise part of the business vs company-owned brands?
What levels of average occupancy do you think it would take to drive a break-even for a Hilton owned and operated brand, given the current pricing environment?
You mentioned Marriott’s shift to an asset-light model, in which it might operate fewer hotels than before and leverage more franchise agreements. How widespread is this shift, including for Hilton?
What do you mean when you refer to the industry’s technology component? What investments might Hilton be making in technology?
Who are the key vendors or leaders in developing technologies for the hotel industry?
Are there any shifts today that could outlast the pandemic? I imagine it could be things like breakfast buffets and complementary continental breakfasts which were eliminated and converted into to-go breakfast packs. Are things like this here to stay? This has perhaps also been a part of cost trims.
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