Hotel giants such as Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton have seen in Mexico a promising market to grow in this segment, which has even attracted new players.
Hotel chains have begun an aggressive expansion strategy in Mexico through acquisitions, alliances, and conversions, directed towards the all-inclusive – or all-inclusive – a segment that had acquired great appeal since before the pandemic, but which, given the fall from other markets and the new preferences of travelers has become more relevant.
Although in its beginnings the all-inclusive –which sells rooms only as complete packages that include accommodation, and additional services such as food and beverages– was linked to a low-cost concept, it gradually shifted to higher-category segments.
“The all-inclusive segment in Mexico, as in the rest of the world, is oriented to recreational tourism, that is its main characteristic,” explains Roberto Montalvo, an academic at the Universidad Iberoamericana. “It is aimed at a segment not in all cases of luxury, but that does imply a higher cost, focused on upper-scale hotels, and not precisely low-cost.
According to an analysis by the consulting firm specialized in hospitality HVS, at the end of 2020 more than 60% of the rooms in the four- and five-star vacation sector belonged to the all-inclusive category, dominated by the Cancun and Riviera Maya region, while the rest was distributed in the category of the European plan –which only includes the stay–, which had a majority of rooms in markets such as Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán.
All-inclusive sector leaders
The projects to come
It is in these markets that the expansion strategies of the large hotel chains have been aligned.
One of the greatest examples of the importance of this segment occurred in previous weeks, when the American Hyatt announced the purchase of Apple Leisure Group (ALG) for 2.7 billion dollars, thus becoming the largest operator of luxury resorts all-inclusive of the world. In this process, Mexico will be the second market where the company will grow the most, only behind Spain, going from nine to 46 complexes.
“ALG’s portfolio of luxury brands, leadership in the all-inclusive segment, and a large portfolio of new resorts will expand our reach into new and existing markets,” said Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt, of the acquisition. in a press release.
Marriott is another of the companies that have redoubled efforts in the all-inclusive segment to enter the top 10 companies worldwide, with the conversion of five hotels in Cancun to add 2,500 rooms to its portfolio, through an alliance with the signs Blue Diamond Resorts.
“Mexico represents the largest all-inclusive market, by far, of any other country in the world,” said Laurent de Kousemaeker, Marriott’s director of development for the Caribbean and Latin America, in a February interview with Expansión. “It is a very large market, driven by destinations such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos.”
And Hilton has also added complexes, with the help of projects such as Conrad Punta Mita, The Yucatan Resort Playa Del Carmen, of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton brand, and the Hilton Cancún, an All-inclusive Resort, whose opening is scheduled for the end of the year.
In addition, Wyndham will enter the all-inclusive segment in Mexico through an alliance with Playa Hotels & Resorts, with the introduction of two Alltra brand complexes in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, which are scheduled to open next December.