The travel industry is abuzz with the news today of a merger between two vacation titans and rivals. Marriott International is purchasing Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide creating the largest hotel chain in the world.
Marriott brands include The Ritz Carlton, Courtyard, Residence Inn and Fairfield Inn and Suites, just to name a few. Marriott currently has over 4,300 properties in 85 countries. Acquiring the 1,270 properties that Starwood manages in over 100 countries will increase Marriott’s worldwide presence. Starwood property brands include Sheraton, Westin, and St. Regis.
Already announced earlier this year, Starwood is moving forward with plans to separate their vacation ownership business into a separate entity known as Vistana Signature Experiences, so their timeshare resorts will not be included as part of the deal with Marriott.
At the end of October, plans were revealed for Interval Leisure Group to acquire Vistana, with the transaction expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016. Interval Leisure Group operates Interval International and Trading Places International.
We will be watching for updates and further details for both of these Starwood sales. And we can’t help but think that this news is a good reminder that the only constant in life is change!