Will the value of brands remain sustainable in today's distribution age?
— 8 C-Suite executives shared their view
World-class distribution was once one of the key value-adds of signing up with a hotel chain or brand. Today, however, this advantage has been severely eroded to the point where independent properties can access better and more cost-effective distribution channels.
From a distribution perspective, is the era of the hotel chain coming to an end?
CEO, InTown Suites and Uptown Suites
Brands (Hotel Chains) provide tremendous structure to a hotel's distribution strategy. However, I wouldn't describe the larger hotel companies as “brands”; they are distribution machines that include a CRS, Loyalty program, property management system and connectivity solutions that cater to different tiers (economy, midscale, luxury).
A brand is a sense of connection that goes beyond a traditional earn and burn loyalty program. That said, hotel chains have a bigger role to play in corporate markets and/or markets that don't run high occupancies. I expect to see continued consolidation as hotel chains seek greater distribution and promote themselves as market-places similar to online agencies and or Airbnb.