Hyatt, one of the most experienced international operators in the region and Bulgaria’s largest hotel operator, is intensifying its focus on the local market as Bulgaria emerges as Hyatt’s largest Eastern European market. This achievement follows this year’s openings of several new properties, most recently the Hyatt Regency Pravets Resort. Hyatt’s commitment to delivering an unparalleled hotel experience in Bulgaria remains unwavering, with a seventh hotel opening on the horizon – AluaSoul, an addition to the Inclusive Collection under the distinguished World of Hyatt, scheduled to welcome guests in 2025. Hyatt entered the local market with the opening of Hyatt Regency Sofia in 2020 to gain leading market share and position Bulgaria as a core market in the region in only three years.
Bulgaria’s largest hotel operator in 3 years
Bulgaria holds a significant position in Hyatt’s strategic expansion in Eastern Europe. Its portfolio in the country grew out of the partnership with Terra Tour Service, the owner of Hyatt Regency Sofia. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, this property under Hyatt management is today ranked first among 168 hotels in the capital and became its “mothership” in Bulgaria. The successful partnership led to the most recent opening of Hyatt Regency Pravets Resort, operated as RIU Pravets Resort before the extensive refurbishment and repositioning. In the meantime, Hyatt’s acquisition of Apple Leisure Group (ALG) opened the opportunity for the four Black Sea coastal resorts, which welcome guests since earlier this year.
“I have always prioritized a disciplined approach to development, striving to grow our brands in the right way. This included establishing a high-quality, brand-building hotel managed by Hyatt in the capital city, allowing us to deeply understand the country, develop infrastructure, and tap into local talent. Our success in Bulgaria confirms that this approach is indeed a recipe for long-term success as we look forward to the opening of our seventh property in Spring 2024.”, said Takuya Aoyama, VP development at Hyatt.
Hyatt’s commitment to Eastern Europe
Hyatt’s presence in Eastern Europe has been marked by a commitment to the region’s growth and development. The company’s longstanding experience in managing Hyatt Regency Belgrade and Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki since 1990 and 1999, respectively, showcases its dedication to Eastern European markets as one of the most experienced international operators in the region.
The company’s current portfolio includes 13 exclusive properties in the region, totalling over 3,395 rooms in Bulgaria, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia and Ukraine. 6 more hotels are on Hyatt’s pipeline in the region over the next 3 years with further expansions in Bulgaria, Estonia, Serbia, Albania and Croatia. Eyeing Romania next. Bulgaria stands out as Hyatt’s largest market in Eastern Europe, boasting the highest number of hotels and rooms, underlining its strategic importance in the company’s growth plans.
“Eastern Europe has undergone incredible transformations, and the region’s dynamic nature stems from the characteristics of its private sector companies founded only 30 years ago, and as such, they still retain characteristics of start-ups – agility, opportunism, boldness, and speed. The constant economic growth in the EE region, surpassing Western Europe, presents abundant opportunities for international hotel brands as both a source of demand and a destination“, added Takuya Aoyama, VP development at Hyatt.
Hyatt’s EAME and global footprint
In 2022, Hyatt achieved an impressive milestone by marking its sixth consecutive year as the fastest-growing hospitality company worldwide. Between 2017 and 2022, Hyatt opened a total of 120 new hotels (approximately 23,200 rooms), with 45% of these located in Europe, Africa, and Middle East (EAME) region. Luxury, lifestyle, and resort properties make up 66% of the rooms added during this timeframe.
In the Europe, Africa, and Middle East (EAME) region, Hyatt’s footprint spans more than 200 hotels, offering a total of more than 46,000 rooms, with over 18,000 dedicated employees, including 7,000 in Europe. The company boasts a diverse portfolio of 18 distinct brands, with Hyatt Regency leading the way with 47 hotels (23%).