Marriott International CEO Predicts More Mega Mergers To Come

Following 2016’s massive merger between the Marriott and Starwood hospitality brands, Marriott International is continuing their mission to integrate Starwood properties into their network. Last year, Marriott’s catalogue of more than 30 brands added Westin, St. Regis, Sheraton, and other names to their empire, which resulted in a combining of two powerhouses in the hospitality industry. However, CEO Arne Sorenson indicated that their huge merger won’t likely be the last.

“This is the first big consolidation of this era,” Sorenson noted, acknowledging the importance of Marriott’s purchase of Starwood. He went on to predict other major hotel and hospitality brands will seek mergers of their own to capitalize on a growing industry: “People understand the logic of it and think the logic makes sense. I think that’s one reason people say, ‘Alright, other companies should follow.'”

Consolidations between hotel brands are common, especially at the lower level. However, the joining of two major brands at the top level of the global hotel industry is less common, albeit the subject of widespread expectation among industry professionals over the past few years. Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood could prove to expedite the process, urging more brands to band together.

What We Can Expect From Other Brands

It’s difficult to tell when these huge mergers will happen, and with which companies. More recently, InterContinental Hotels Group was rumored to have been courting a bid from Chinese company Anbang, but that speculation proved to be untrue. AccorHotels, the fifth-largest hospitality brand with nearly 4,000 properties, acquired the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel brands last year, increasing their portfolio exponentially. The HNA Group, which owns stakes in Carlson Hotels and Rezidor Hotel Group, recently just purchased 25 percent of Hilton Worldwide, prompting more rumors of major acquisitions.

However, the process of joining forces isn’t so easy, and not appealing to every CEO. Sorenson noted that not every company is for sale, and the risk of merging and acquiring is often too great for some brands to participate. As such, many are watching Marriott International’s continuing integration with Starwood as a trial to see how large-scale mergers can work.

Find a Place to Stay on Your Next Trip

Regardless of how mergers work out and which brand acquires which, travelers remain the winners. As is the case with the Marriott – Starwood merger, many rewards and loyalty programs are being improved and rolled over across brands, meaning you’ll be able to craft better vacation experiences. As the global hospitality industry grows and becomes more competitive, you’ll likely see many more great deals on vacations.

For a truly great deal, check out our resort rental deals at resorts from Marriott, Starwood, and other brands! Book online today and make your dream vacation more affordable!

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