New Hotel Brands: Are There Just Too Many?
By Court Williams Chief Executive Officer, HVS Executive Search | March 03, 2019
No-one can accuse the hotel industry of not listening to its guests. But is there such a thing as listening too well, when you have so many people who all want different things? The multitude of new hotel brands launched over the past 5 years, particularly in the select service and lifestyle sectors, offers such a wide range of experiences that one can't help but wonder whether there are enough guests to match the number of available accommodations.
This raises several questions, including: Why is there such a proliferation of brands suddenly, is it justified, and what are the big brand strategies that are driving the trend?
Brands Breaking Boundaries
At the time of writing, Marriott International is almost certainly the world's largest hotel company, with more than 6,700 properties in 129 countries. These include 30 leading hotel brands offering more than 1.3 million rooms. Other large hospitality groups like Hilton and Wyndham aren't far behind, with a total tally of hotel brands at around 1,000 according to STR statistics.
It's not just about buying out existing brands, however. Many hotel groups are actually breaking ground with new brands, such as the new Hyatt Centric brand whose properties' claim to fame is that they are situated in downtown areas in the centers of all the action. These are mostly not new hotels, but existing properties reconfigured to the new brand.
Marriott-Starwood, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) and Hilton have all developed new brands, too. In 2014, Marriott launched its new Moxy brand, a boutique-hotel concept fueled by technology and aimed at the next-Gen traveler. Properties have 24-hour bar services, community spaces for meeting people safely (a nod to the online dating trend?) and other, hostel-inspired attributes.