EFEMexico City

Hyatt Hotels Corporation's agreement to purchase the resort company Apple Leisure Group (ALG) for $2.7 billion is a clear indication that the attractiveness of luxury travel destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean is on the rise.

"The sale to Hyatt confirms our strategy for the all-inclusive five-star luxury sector with all security protocols and a very special experience," Alejandro Reynal, CEO of ALG, told Efe on Thursday.

Hyatt and ALG sealed the purchase agreement at the weekend and expect to close the deal in the last quarter of this year. ALG will maintain all of its brands and operations independently of Hyatt.

Reynal will continue as CEO of ALG and will report directly to Hyatt President and CEO Mark Hoplamazian.

"Our growth potential is multiplied by our integration into Hyatt, which opens up new opportunities for us to accelerate growth in Latin America, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Asia," said Reynal.

"We will continue to invest in the region (Latin America and the Caribbean) and now with much greater development capacity by having everything that Hyatt represents," ALG's CEO said.

Apple Leisure Group is a leading luxury resort, travel and hospitality management services group with more than 33,000 rooms in 10 countries which also includes its recent expansion to Spain and Greece.

Since 2007, ALG has grown rapidly from managing 9 resorts to close to 100 properties by the end of 2021, plus a portfolio of 24 deals executed in its expansion process.

PANDEMIC REINFORCES STRATEGY

Reynal assured that the pandemic has reinforced his strategic vision of hotels with large open facilities, with all-inclusive luxury resorts "in which the guest seeks a great experience and to be well cared for in a safe environment."

He said he expected that there will be a complete recovery of this vacation sector in 2022, while hotel services for business will take time to recover due to a change in the habits of companies.

"The tourist destinations of the Caribbean and Mexico (especially Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta) are reinforced for the North American tourist who seeks the vacation experience offered by our quality hotels, security and unique experience," Reynal said.

In order to return to pre-pandemic figures, Reynal says that there are two key elements: consumer confidence to travel and a reduction in barriers that now prevent a greater number of trips.

"For our part, we will continue to apply all sanitary protocols to guarantee the safety of our guests because many of these protocols are here to stay," he said.

ALG operates with a wide number of brands such as Secrets Resorts & Spa, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas and Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, as well as the fast-growing brand Alua Hotels & Resorts, expanding into European leisure destinations.

Hyatt's purchase also includes the 110,000-member Unlimited Vacation Club, which runs the ALG Vacations travel distribution business and travel technology asset and destination management services.

Hyatt CEO Hoplamazian noted that "the addition of ALG properties will immediately double Hyatt's global resort presence."

"ALG's portfolio of luxury brands, leadership in the all-inclusive segment and large portfolio of new resorts will expand our reach into new and existing markets, including Europe, and further accelerate our net room growth, which leads the industry," he said.

With the purchase of ALG, Hyatt will have the largest portfolio of all-inclusive luxury resorts in the world, double its global resort presence, be the largest operator of luxury hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean, and expand its European presence 60 percent. EFE

ra/esc/jrh