Marriott Launches Autograph Brand Targeting Independent Hotels
Much is being written about the shift in consumer taste away from the vanilla cookie cutter approach of institutional hotels and into independent properties which offer local flavor, more personality and diversity. Here in Phuket properties such as Twin Palm's, Cape Sienna, Phuket Pavilions and Sri Panwa are just a few operating rather successfully in this space.
One of the world's hospitality leaders Marriott International has acknowledged this trend and in a move to capture growth in the upturn has launched the Autograph Collection which is targeting independent upscale and luxury hotels. Plans call for an initial 25 properties by the end of next year to be operating under the flag.
Key for hotel owners is the access to Marriott's leading Rewards Program and considerable global sales and marketing systems; though the consumer demographic will be considerably different from travelers to the company's signature brands such as JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance.
In the past Starwood attempted rather unsuccessfully a critical mass of hotels under it Luxury Collection; though times have changed dramatically and in the age of the long tail and customization the independent hotel has been given a boost in travelers preference.