Brand concentration has intensified greatly over recent years and many new brands have been created. At last count (and the count changes often), Marriott owns 30 brands, Accor has 33, Wyndham has 18, Hilton has 14, IHG has 13, Choice has 11 and Hyatt has 10.
On a basic level, the hospitality business is simple - as is often said, it amounts to putting heads in beds. But finding the heads to put in the beds is a complex process and requires hotel companies to find out a great deal of information about their guests.
Data breaches are back in the news, and this time, its a well-known hotel industry player: Marriott International. The company announced today that unauthorized access to their systems going back several years has exposed the names and other personal details of over 500 million guests.
Hotels rely on third-party vendors to help run their properties efficiently, and often must give them access to sensitive guest data. This leaves hotels vulnerable to cyber attacks; they're only as secure as their vendors are, and may find themselves directly liable for a data breach.
It is budget season again — that time when operators and owners sit down to agree on the financial blueprint for the next year. My partner Bob Braun has worked on many hundreds of hotel management agreements and issues arising under them.