The world’s top 50 most hotel brands have lost more than a third of their worth as nearly USD23 billion is wiped from their value

The total value of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands has decreased -33% year-on-year, down from USD70.2 billion in 2020 to USD47.4 billion in 2021, according to the new 2021 edition of Brand Finance’s Hotels 50 report, an annual review of the most valuable and strongest hotel brands.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts once again is the world’s most valuable hotel brands, despite recording a -30% drop in brand value to USD7.6 billion. While Hilton’s revenue has taken a significant hit since the outbreak of the pandemic, the brand is “showing confidence in its growth strategy,” according to the report, announcing a further 17,400 rooms to its pipeline, bringing the total to over 400,000 new rooms planned – an uplift of +8% on the previous year. Hilton also boasts the most valuable hotel portfolio, with its seven brands that feature in the ranking reaching a total brand value of USD13.8 billion.

Hilton’s rival, Marriott International (down -60% to USD2.4 billion), has dropped down to fifth spot from second, after losing more than half of its brand value. Last year, the brand’s worldwide revenue available per room was down -60% from 2019 and global occupancy was just 36% for the year.

Hyatt moves up into second spot, up from third, bucking the sector trend as one of only two brands in the ranking to record brand value growth, +up 4% to USD4.7 billion): the other being Conrad, which has seen a +11.9% rise in brand value.

Despite the pandemic impacting its performance greatly, Hyatt’s net rooms growth has been strong, notes the report, opening 72 hotels and entering 27 new markets. “Furthermore, the brand has continued to execute new signings to maintain its pipeline, which represent over 40% growth of existing hotel rooms in the future,” it says.

Holiday Inn also moves up above Marriott from fourth to third, despite a -16.0% decline in brand value from USD4.5 billion to USD3.8 billion, while Hampton by Hilton rises from fifth to fourth despite losing a quarter of its brand value, down -26.0% from USD 3.8 billion to USD2.8 billion. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts remains in sixth (down -19.5%), InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is seventh (up from 11th), DoubleTree by Hilton eighth, Crown Plaza Hotels & Resorts ninth, and Sheraton tenth.

In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. According to these criteria, Taj (brand value USD296 million) is the world’s strongest hotel brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.3 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.

Renowned for its world-class customer service, the luxury hotel chain scores very well in the Global Brand Equity Monitor for consideration, familiarity, recommendation, and reputation especially across its home market of India. 

“Taj’s successful implementation of its five-year plan – which focuses on selling non-core assets, becoming less ownership driven and reducing dependence on the luxury space – followed by the speedy adoption of its new R.E.S.E.T 2020 strategy, which provides a transformative framework to help the brand overcome the challenge of the pandemic,” says the report. This has contributed to the brand’s re-entrance into the ranking for the first time since 2016 in 38th spot.

Alongside analysing the world’s most valuable hotel brands, Brand Finance also ranks the top 10 most valuable brands in the wider leisure & tourism industry. This year, the total value of the world’s top 10 most valuable leisure & tourism brands has also declined notably, by -40%.

Despite booking.com recording a -19% brand value loss to USD8.3 billion, it has overtaken Airbnb (down -67% to USD3.4 billion) and Trip.com Group (down -38% to USD3.5 billion) to become the most valuable leisure & tourism brand in the world. The fastest falling brand this year, Airbnb, cut a quarter of its workforce last year, and was forced to scale back on new initiatives that it had in the pipeline, including luxury resorts and flights.

Happy Valley (down -37% to USD1.2 billion) is the sector’s strongest brand, with a BSI score of 84.1 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA- brand strength rating. There are three new entrants into the ranking this year, AMC Theatres (brand value USD1.8 billion) in seventh, Priceline (brand value USD1.5 billion) in eighth, and Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town (brand value to USD1.3 billion) in ninth.

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