We have been reporting on the increased buying of hotels in the hospitality sector when compared to the last two years. The larger chains are particularly active in trying to consolidate their position as the revival of the economy results in dramatic increase of business travel. The larger groups with multiple brands in their portfolio are expanding their reach through brand acquisition or co branding. It has turned into an international trend with all the important chains in the sector are interested in acquisition.
Marriott has been the first off the block with a co branding agreement with AC Hotels which is predominantly a European Brand with a large base in Spain. With AC Hotels by Marriott coming into being Marriott will not have 8 hotel properties but over 80 hotels in Spain alone. It is bound to give them a huge advantage over any other international chain in the area. AC Hotels have 10 properties in Italy and two in Portugal. The hotel group was founded by Antonio Catalan in 1998 and most of their hotels are upscale urban properties in Spain.
The agreement will become clearer and operational by May 2011 when you will be able to book AC Hotels through the Marriott network. Four of the exclusive luxury hotels in the AC Hotel’s portfolio have been made into the first international members of the new Autograph Collection brand. This is the first major brand Acquisition deal in the hotel industry in the last two years. But several similar deals are in the pipeline as Starwood Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Carlson Hotels and others are all negotiating some acquisition deal or the other.