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February 2016 Newsletter Header - (1)

It must have been quite a surprise for everyone at Starwood to learn on November 16, that they were now part of the Marriott family. Having been fierce competitors for years and then suddenly on the same team can only be described as a significant mindset shift.

From this side of the merger, the first thing that began to be considered was how does this consolidation affect competition. After much reading and review, my findings are that for as long as there is a fragmented market with numerous owners, franchises and management agreements, the marketplace will remain competitive.

Hotel management companies and ownerships often have multiple brands in their portfolios and they expect each hotel to have a return on investment.

The trend that I believe we will continue to see with this merger is a move for hotels to create more sales clusters. This means that one sales representative will represent many hotel brands instead of each hotel having a dedicated sales team. While this is efficient for the hotel brands’ bottom line, it does make it challenging to get accurate information about a specific hotel as one person oversees multiple properties. It will just mean that we as site selection professionals will continue to be the clients’ advocate as the sales process becomes more commoditized.

We love competition even in our own market space as it makes us bring our ‘best’ forward. It comes down to options, choice and value. It is easy to be good and exponentially harder to be great. Let’s strive for amazing – together!

Timely yours,
Brenda

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