Marriott International recently agreed to purchase Starwood Hotels and Resorts in one of the most significant business moves within the hospitality industry in recent memory. The deal will make Marriott inarguably the world’s largest hospitality chain, with approximately 5,500 properties scattered across the globe.
Rumors started spreading after Starwood vaguely hinted at major financial moves this past year, with some sort of buyout appearing imminent after they sold their timeshare ownership branch to Interval Leisure Group this fall. The merger, expected to occur sometime next year, will propel Marriott past their biggest rival, Hilton Worldwide.
The Marriott-Starwood Merger: Important Facts
Here are the key takeaways from the recent announcement:
- The merger will add more than 30 brands to Marriott’s catalogue of properties, including Sheraton, Westin, and St. Regis.
- Marriott’s inventory will increase by almost 50%
- Marriott may benefit from Starwood’s business travel-friendly partnerships with American Express, Delta Airlines, Uber, and more.
- Starwood’s recent expansion into Chinese, Indian, and Emirati markets was a key selling point for Marriott, whose international presence in those areas has been subpar.
- Marriott reportedly beat out other suitors of Starwood, including Intercontinental Hotels Group and Hyatt Hotels Corp. The deal was inked for $12.2 billion.
How the Merger Will Affect Timeshare Owners
With complete details of the merger still unclear, it is difficult to determine what kind of effect, if any, this will have on timeshare owners. Starwood timeshare owners are already aware of the purchase by Interval Leisure Group, so little may change there. If anything, Marriott Vacation Club owners may have some sort of increased access to Starwood properties, but that remains to be seen.
The Timeshare Authority will continue to report on these developments. If you own a timeshare affiliated with Marriott or Starwood, we advise you to keep an eye out for any official communication from your home resort or vacation club.