The name game
Do you know your Conrads from your Canopys and your Sheratons from your St Regis? Or how about Dolce from Days Inn? The hotel sector is awash with brands, all promising a different experience and appealing to a different customer demographic. Or at least that's what the world's major hotel groups say. Following its merger with Starwood, Marriott now has 30 brands while Accorhotels is on the acquisition trail and IHG has just unveiled Voco, another upscale brand.
As a travel buyer, the proliferation of brands can cause seemingly needless complexity. “Brands don’t mean anything anymore – it has become ridiculous,” says one travel buyer in this issue’s extended feature on the hotel sector (p59-83). “It's difficult to determine what you're going to get,” says another. This blurring of brands is among several buyer bugbears with the hotel industry that are discussed in this comprehensive report, which also covers new spend management strategies, consolidation in the industry, the rise of aparthotels and more.
Elsewhere, we take a look at the power of data in a feature on predictive analytics (p20-22), track the latest developments in corporate payments (p32-39) and find out how chauffeur drive companies are positioning their services against a wave of ride-hailing apps.
Finally, if you've not registered to attend The Business Travel Conference yet, what are you waiting for? Our two-day conference and exhibition takes place on September 11-12 at the Hilton London Bankside and bookers and buyers of business travel and meetings can sign-up for free. We look forward to seeing you there!
Andy Hoskins, Editor