The race to capture next gen travellers

next gen travellers

Rendering of Project HQ Detroit

In less than six months from launch, Project HQ has signed its first two properties with a further 15 hotels under discussion. Investment firm LionGrove has also committed to develop 10 properties throughout the Caribbean and the sun belt of the US. A suite of key appointments have been made at sbe – which is spearheading Project HQ in partnership with Wyndham – to support the rapid growth of the brand, and I imagine the team is opening the throttle to signal sbe’s return to the hotel sector.

The first two projects will see the repositioning of The Royal Plaza & Villa Toscane in Montreux, Switzerland, and the Park Avenue House in Detroit, Michigan. The brand’s development pipeline was originally earmarked to include 80 per cent conversion projects and 20 per cent new construction – another contributing factor to its quick scalability. But why the rush?

Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of sbe, said: “The tidal wave of consumers coming into the marketplace from the Millennial, Gen Z and Latino audience is staggering. They’re eager to partake in communal celebrations, create new memories, and relish moments of wonder – and we are creating the spaces to do just that.” When you consider that the upper end of Gen Alpha will also be heading to university in five years – a cohort which WGSN forecasts to become a global group of 2.5 billion by 2025, holding the greatest spending power in history – time is very much of the essence. 

Moreover, most of the major hotel chains are betting big on lifestyle hotels. Hilton has recently announced plans to double its lifestyle portfolio to 700 over the next four years, while Accor, IHG and others are building strong pipelines within this segment. I look forward to seeing Wyndham make its mark in the lifestyle sector with the addition of Project HQ to its Registry Collection. 

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