Luxury hotels were drastically impacted by COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 with the category seeing its value sales decrease by two thirds of the previous year’s sales. Luxury hotels are very popular for business travellers in Romania, which led to a significant decrease in guests due to the near total lockdown of the country from March to May 2020 and the ongoing travel bans.
The luxury hotels competitive landscape has become increasingly consolidated during the pandemic with all notable players in the category gaining share at the expense of others, even though all saw strong declines in value sales in 2020. The top two players, Hilton and Marriott International, together dominate the category with nearly three quarters of the total category share, having grown more prominent during the pandemic.
In 2021, luxury hotels became extremely popular among Romanians, who were looking for exclusive experiences in their own country. As well as aiming to support local tourism and local jobs, many remained concerned about travelling outside the country.
It is expected that luxury hotels will continue to be impacted over the forecast period by remote working and meetings as these practices become long-term trends. Given the advancements of technology and how many people and businesses have become accustomed to virtual working, there are no signs that once the pandemic in over these trends will disappear.
Over the forecast period, independent luxury hotels are anticipated to increasingly target high-income Romanian clients. The pandemic boosted interest in local tourism (given that travel restrictions prevented non-essential travel outside the country for several months) and this trend is expected to continue to develop in the future.
The fact that Romania’s major luxury hotels are all part of international brand groups means that they are better capitalised, and therefore better equipped to survive the outcome of the pandemic. However, despite the government attempting to support the category, luxury hotel operators have been forced to lay off many highly experienced staff that they may struggle to re-recruit when the economy re-opens more fully.
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Luxury: includes luxury and upper upscale hotels. Would generally include 5-star hotels and above, but may include some “4.5-Star” outlets, provided that the brands positioning warrants it. The luxury classification is primarily determined by the brand’s positioning and marketing, which will be at the high-end. Brand examples include Marriott, Hilton, Sofitel and InterContinental.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Hotels research and analysis database.
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