Killing a hotel brand is hard to do, and luckily for Marriott, it has no plans to ditch any of its 30 brands nearly two years into its Starwood merger, said Tina Edmundson, global brand officer for Marriott International.
Edmundson said the merger and brands are on track. “But I don’t think our work is ever done,” she said, speaking at Skift Forum Europe in April. “Size and scale matters in today’s very competitive distribution environment. There certainly are brands within the 30 brands that are growth vehicles for us.”
Europe offers a big opportunity for Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, with a brand for seemingly everything and everyone. Some 60 percent of hotels in Europe are independent, said Edmundson, compared to the United States where 70 percent of hotels are branded and 30 percent are independent.
There is a growing segment of travelers who are looking for an unconventional, independent experience in a hotel, said Edmundson. “The fragmented nature of the European market is why we launched Moxy,” she said.” When we looked at the midscale segment we saw that there was such a dearth of a branded product.”
Some of Marriott’s soft brands such as the Autograph Collection have a lot of elasticity were previously independent and brought into the company’s fold, said Edmundson.
“Hotel owners also want growth and having multiple brands in one market helps us to do that,” said Edmundson. “Just as we do on the consumer side, it’s important that we allow for growth in our owner community as well.”
You can watch the entire interview above, or consider reading more coverage of Skift Forum Europe.
At Skift Forum Europe in Berlin, Europe’s travel leaders gathered for a day of inspiration, information, and conversation.