Blackstone bullish on travel rebound

Seaside pier

Insight Comment
Blackstone has made a couple of recent big bets in the hospitality industry. It’s interesting to note, however, that both Bourne Leisure and Extended Stay America focus on their respective domestic travel markets. This looks likely to be one of the first areas to bounce back. 

Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager, talked up the changes of a post-Covid travel boom as it announced its best-ever quarterly profit performance.

The company, which has assets under management totalling $649 billion, reported net income of $1.7 billion compared with a loss of $1.1 billion in the prior year. 

In recent months the company has made a number of acquisitions in the travel and hospitality space signalling its strong belief in a rebound.

“In terms of travel as the economy reopens, we believe the combination of increased consumer savings, fiscal stimulus and global cabin fever will be powerful,” John Gray, president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, said on an earnings call with analysts.

“We think commitments emphasizing this theme include acquiring a private aviation business, a major holiday park operator in the U.K., a hotel portfolio in Japan and a public hotel company in the U.S.”

In February Blackstone completed a deal to acquire holiday park operator Bourne Leisure, home to the famous Butlin’s brand, for reportedly around £3 billion. It has also agreed to buy Extended Stay America, in partnership with Starwood capital, for $6 billion.