The Americas Lead the Accommodation Sector’s Recovery

Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at the near yet uneven recovery of the global accommodation market, Blackstone’s investment in hotels, and the labor opportunity with apprenticeships.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, August 23 in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Private-equity firm Blackstone Group recently bought a minority stake in Sunstone Hotel Investors, the owner of 15 U.S. hotels. The move might be a sign Blackstone views hotels a more resilient category than other real-estate assets, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.

According to financial documents filed last week, Blackstone purchased more than 8.5 million shares in Sunstone, making the firm one of Sunstone’s five largest shareholders. Blackstone has completed nearly $700 million of transactions this year, including its purchases of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and Confidante Miami Beach.

O’Neill writes that Blackstone might emerge as an early contender to buy Sunstone, adding that the firm’s support could enable Sunstone to speed up acquiring hotels. One analyst believes Sunstone is in a good position to likely be a net buyer — buying more assets than it sells — in the near future.

Next, the accommodation sector is continuing to make progress in its recovery. Skift Research’s newly released Global Accommodation Sector Market Estimates reveals its revenue is expected to hit 95 percent of pre-Covid metrics this year, reports Senior Research Analyst Varsha Arora.

The report also found the Americas is the biggest contributor of accommodation sector revenue. It’s projected to contribute around 49 percent of the sector’s value, followed by Europe at 25 percent. Arora notes that the Americas is the biggest market for luxury hotels as well as being home to a population with immense spending power. The report also indicates a full global recovery in hotels would occur by next year.

Finally, apprenticeships are seeing a renaissance as employers worldwide rush to fill vacancies. They also could be the solution to the event industry’s staffing shortages, reports Contributor Paul Cook.

As the number of people aged 16 to 24 in the U.S. serving apprenticeships has more than doubled in the last 10 years, Cook writes there’s little doubt they can be beneficial. Apprenticeships, which include structured training focusing on specific skills required by the employer, usually lead to full-time employment, notes consultant MaryAnne P. Bobrow.

And as the areas of apprenticeship programs are being expanded, Cook adds that event executives view those programs as avenues to find qualified candidates.

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