As the tourism industry rebounds, the leading independent lifestyle hotel brand, Ovolo, is positioned for expansion to capitalise on the long-term growth of the travel sector.
In the last five years, the brand has tripled its room count, including two additional assets during the pandemic. Currently, market conditions are ripe to seek value-add and conversion opportunities as the world shifts into post-pandemic recovery mode.
After establishing its foundations as an owner-operator, Ovolo has plans to increase its network by more than twofold and will ramp up growth efforts via acquisitions, HMAs, joint ventures and partnerships.
Ovolo is set to leverage its strong brand value as it looks to expand its footprint in Australia, New Zealand, and selected APAC target markets. After launching its first hotel in Indonesia last year, Ovolo is keen to evolve in major urban and leisure destinations in Asia, such as Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, and Phuket. Additionally, the group has its sights set on key source markets in Europe and beyond.
“This is the perfect time to expand the Ovolo brand, and we are open to discussions with strategic partners who would like to be part of our growth journey,” said Girish Jhunjhnuwala, Ovolo Hotels Founder and Executive Chairman. “After 20 years of building the Ovolo brand, we want to share our expertise and build long-term partnerships that can unlock an asset’s full potential and drive higher returns.”
Currently, interest and capital in hotel real estate are booming, with Q1 of 2022 recording the highest quarterly transaction volume in Australia and New Zealand and quarterly volumes across the Asia Pacific surpassing full-year 2020 levels. As developers, family offices, high-net-worth individuals, and institutional investors diversify from retail and office space due to shifting consumption and work patterns, they are now looking at the hotel sector with renewed interest. Fuelled by an increased desire for people to buy experiences, travel demand is set to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023/24.
Lifestyle hotels are anticipated to lead the market out of the pandemic. Between 2014 and 2019, demand for this sector increased by more than twofold and is predicted to double again by 2023. There is a rising preference for the connected and experiential nature of lifestyle hotels.
Transforming older, outdated properties with Ovolo’s signature guest experiences can unlock significant upside potential, as lifestyle guests are willing to pay substantial room rate premiums of 15 percent or more, which drives higher yields and profitability.
“There are great value-add opportunities in the market right now, where hotels can be reimagined and repositioned with the right design, service and branding,” says Dave Baswal, Ovolo Hotels CEO. “Ovolo has experience delivering multiple value-add projects over many years, and we are considering strategic partnerships and JV opportunities to expand further and faster to take advantage of the current favourable conditions in the market to facilitate growth.”
There is a significant relationship between branding and hotel performance in an increasingly competitive landscape. The award-winning Ovolo name resonates strongly with travellers, having been named Hotel Brand of the Year 2019 and 2020 at the Hotel Management Awards in Australia. Ovolo hotels are consistently rated among the top hotel brands in their locations on TripAdvisor. In 2021, Ovolo Central Hong Kong was awarded Travellers Choice Best of the Best, while Ovolo won the Hospitality & Leisure Business Award Hong Kong 2021, amongst many others.
With a talented cross-functional team known for driving creativity and agility, Ovolo hotels stand out from the crowd. Helmed by its visionary founder, Girish, Ovolo hotels have established a reputation for disrupting and shaking up the boutique lifestyle hotel scene. The company has a proven track record of adding value and delivering superior results, with end-to-end experience in identifying opportunities, transforming hotels, and driving operational excellence.
Ovolo’s culture revolves around providing an excellent experience for guests and staff and is devoted to making meaningful contributions to the community. Ovolo was the first hotel group in the world to develop its Plant’d ‘Veg Pledge’, going entirely vegetarian across its Ovolo Hotels to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and promote wellness through conscious cuisine. Ovolo also features eco-conscious minibars serving organic and fair-trade produce; ORCA food waste recycling; electric vehicle charging stations; energy efficiency programs; and Cloud-based reporting to reduce paper waste.