Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines hospitality.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Smart move, Marriott. Given the growth of the middle class worldwide will be led by China, it’s incredibly insightful on Marriott’s part to be doing all it can to establish loyalty and brand recognition with this crucial market sooner than later: Marriott Partners With Alibaba to Court the Chinese Travel Market Even More

>>Disney wowed everyone with this announcement. Now fans of the theme park company and Star Wars wait for the execution — and the price tag: Disney’s New Star Wars Hotel Sounds Like Next-Level Immersion

>>InterContinental’s new CEO Keith Barr seems happy — for now — to carry on with the work done by his predecessor. While rivals have explored other areas, IHG keeps doing the same thing, although it is developing a new midscale brand. Only time will tell which strategy is right: InterContinental Hotels Won’t Rush to Follow Rivals Into Alternative Accommodations

>>Alaska Airlines continued to scoop up awards for its distance-based loyalty program while Marriott took advantage of its recent merger in this year’s U.S. News and World Report’s loyalty program rankings: Marriott Unseats Wyndham as Best Hotel Loyalty Program in New Ranking

>>Well, that happened quickly. But given the fact that Pacious has been with Choice for more than a decade and was already planning on becoming CEO by year’s end, the timing of this doesn’t seem like it’ll be a big deal for the company: New Choice Hotels CEO Is Starting Earlier Than He Thought

Photo Credit: Choice Hotels headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. The company's new CEO begins sooner than expected. Choice Hotels