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What Travelers Should Know About The Marriott Starwood Merger

The news we’ve all been waiting for is here—Marriott International and Starwood have finally completed their $13 billion merger.  With the sale originally announced almost a year and a half ago, the twists and turns surrounding the Marriott Starwood merger occasionally felt like a daytime soap opera. Through it all, the travel industry has been anxiously waiting to hear the details, especially how travelers and travel managers will make out in the end.

What happened with Starwood?

  • In April 2015, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide first put itself up for sale.
  • They initially had 30 serious parties interested in merging, both U.S. and international.
  • In November 2015, Starwood announced a deal with Marriott for $12.2 billion. (Read Skift’s article about how Marriott played hard to get here.)
  • They slated the deal would be finalized by mid-2016, with a $400 million termination fee if it didn’t go through.
  • From there, the merger needed approval by regulatory authorities in over 40 countries. The U.N. also approved the deal in June.
  • The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) requested more time in August to review the merger. They finally approved the deal September 20, 2016.
  • This merger created the world’s largest hotel company.

Marriott, the largest hotel company, ever:

  • The new company now has over 30 hotel brands. This includes operating or franchising more than 7,500 properties and 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 countries.
  • The hotels that are now under the Marriott- Starwood merger include:
    • Marriott, Courtyard, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton, Westin, W, St. Regis,  The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Tribute Portfolio, Four Points by Sheraton, Element, and many more.

What does the Marriott Starwood merger mean for travelers?

One of the biggest concerns about the merger have been regarding the loyalty programs. Both companies have their own loyalty programs. And as any frequent travelers knows, their perks often keep the customer loyal. Well, good news for any worried road warrior out there. Marriott has acknowledged the necessity of loyalty programs since the beginning of the merger. Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott, said integrating Starwood’s guest loyalty program was ‘central, strategic, rationale for the transaction.’

This week, Marriott announced the loyalty points will be linked and transferable. One Starwood Preferred Guest point will be worth three Marriott Reward points. This is yet another strategic tactic that many travelers wont be able to pass up. The process to connect your loyalty rewards is already set up and ready to go. Simply start at Marriott’s New Member page and follow the steps.

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Travel Industry Travel News

Marriott International to Acquire Starwood Hotel and Resorts

merger business travelMarriott International is already a large, well-known franchise that will now be even bigger, having announced its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Through this acquisition, Marriott will have 5,500 hotels and around 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. CNBC reported that before the purchase, “Marriott currently has three-quarters of its rooms in the United States. Starwood, which also owns St. Regis and Aloft hotel brands, gets nearly two-thirds of its revenue from outside the country.” This allows Marriott to expand globally, providing travelers and reward members the opportunity to stay at many more locations.

This purchase boosts Marriott’s worth to “$12.2 billion to create the world’s largest hotel chain with top brands including Sheraton, Ritz Carlton and the Autograph Collection.” The deal won’t be completed until the middle of 2016, but it will be a game changer for the hotel industry and will definitely give this franchise a leg up when customers go to book their next stay.