Hyatt Hotels CEO Mark Hoplamazian outlined his larger vision for the company during the Skift Global Forum Thursday in New York City: a “significant focus” on the high-end traveler and wellness.
Hoplamazian said the difference between Hyatt and other major hotels chains is their concentration on the luxury and upscale segments rather than serving a wide range of guests.
“We’re the sole remaining multi-brand, multi-national hotel company that is hyper-focused on the high-end traveler. Starwood shared that position before they were acquired, but now the larger hotel companies Marriott, IHG, Accor and Hilton are spanning across a very wide range of guests,” he said.
While Hyatt was unsuccessful in acquiring NH Hotels, Hoplamazian said he still sees an opportunity to add additional brands within the luxury and upscale segments, specifically in Asia, Europe and parts of South America. Hyatt already announced it will be doubling its African portfolio by 2020, including its first in Ethiopia, in an effort to tap growing visits by African and Chinese travelers.
“Playing the scale game doesn’t make sense for us. We think the differentiation of experience and getting to know our high-end guests is what sets us apart,” said Hoplamazian.
The other priority for Hyatt is the burgeoning wellness market, where Hoplamazian said there is tremendous demand. In addition to expanding the Miraval Arizona in Tucson, the wellness resort and spa operator will open a new property in Austin in a couple of months, followed by one in the Berkshires in Massachusetts next year.
Hyatt is tapping into Miraval’s expertise and philosophies to help guide its new wellness ventures.
“We’re currently working on pilots for meeting planners and our corporate customers to embed some programming that will allow their meetings to be more effective,” said Hoplamazian. “These will be unique programming because we have experts that have been doing this for decades. These will allow you to have a fundamentally different experience that’s not just a different breakfast.”
The group also recently launched a digital experience platform called Find on its World of Hyatt platform, geared towards “enhancing the mind, body, and spirit.”