Starwood Hotels is expanding its presence, this time in the sphere of independent hotels. This week, the group launched a new brand, Tribute Portfolio, that's designed to bring the SPG experience to places where the company doesn’t currently have a firm presence. “We clearly have seen over the last several years a large growth in independent hotels in urban and resort markets,” says Dave Marr, Senior VP of Brand Management for Starwood in North America. “We really are excited about now working with owners and developers that previously had a very clear vision of what they thought their independent hotel should be, but oftentimes didn’t fit into one of our other name brands.”
Nearly half of all of the upscale hotels in the United States are independent, as are 60 percent of the four-star hotels in the world. Through its own research, Marr says that the company found that its guests were often traveling to locations where a Starwood property wasn’t present, and would turn...
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