Evaluating the hospitality landscape with Gilda Perez-Alvarado

Evaluating the hospitality landscape with Gilda Perez-Alvarado

Gilda Perez-Alvarado, the Global CEO at JLL Hotels and Hospitality, leads a specialized team of cross-border investment sales professionals based across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific region, the Americas and Europe. Here, she shares her insights into the hospitality landscape.

What is the current state of the regional hotel and hospitality industry?

Despite economic volatility, the global hotel industry remains strong and resilient, with RevPAR surpassing 2019 levels by 11 percent in the first half of 2023. Most regions, including the Middle East, the Americas and Europe, have fully rebounded. While Asia-Pacific is not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, its performance has surged since China’s reopening, with RevPAR only 7.9 percent behind 2019. The hotel industry is expected to continue improving, driven by the return of group, corporate and international travel. Muted supply growth will also further support the industry, particularly with ADR growth surpassing inflation by 3.2 percent in the first five months of the year.

What are the emerging trends in hospitality?

The hospitality industry is undergoing tremendous innovation expanding new verticals and increasing technology adoption driven by AI. Hotels are expanding their offerings, particularly in the luxury space, as the lines between work, life and play have blurred and the world’s HNW population continues to grow. These include private membership clubs, yachts and branded residences. Hotels use tech for better guest experiences, with virtual tours, kiosks, analytics, and AI chatbots. The integration of digital platforms is also transforming workforce processes, empowering employees with new skills and automating time-consuming processes.

In terms of investment opportunities, which regions or countries do you believe hold the greatest potential for the sector?

Investors favor urban safe-haven markets as economic challenges persist. Urban hotels performed well in H1 2023 and are expected to grow in H2. Assets in cities like Tokyo, Paris, London, and New York remain highly sought after by global investors.

What key statistics can you share with us?

Private equity continues to be the largest acquirer of hotel assets globally as investors raise record funds targeting the sector. H1 2023 also saw a notable increase in new investors entering the sector. In fact, 24 percent of global hotel investments came from first-time buyers, mainly high-net-worth individuals and family offices.


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Gilda Perez Alvarado is one of the judges of the Finals of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge, taking place at the Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) 2023. The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge is a Hotelschool The Hague initiative that aims to enhance the evolution of sustainable hospitality. She will also be speaking on the topic ‘Tourism-Led Policies for a Better World: The Importance of the Industry Getting a Seat at the Government Policy-making Table’, moderated Turab Saleem Partner – Head of Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure – MENA, Knight Frank.

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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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