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Episode 8: Hotel Owner Operating and Branding Strategies

Skift Research Take

Hotel owners have their hands full with choosing the appropriate operating model, ensuring their properties are being run efficiently and effectively, and remaining innovative and thoughtful. Doing all of this in an increasingly complex environment can be challenging. Some will need the major brand chains' help, some won't.

Our Analyst Sessions include discussions featuring our talented bench of researchers, editors and special guests ready to debate the evolution of travel. Analyst Sessions are available exclusively for Skift Research Subscribers, subscribe now to get access to all our Research Reports, Analyst Sessions, and Data Sheets.

This Analyst Session discusses operating and branding strategies for hotel owners in today's environment. It serves as a supplement to our Skift Research Report, A Deep Dive Into Operating & Branding Strategies for Hotel Owners. We review different ownership operating models and the pros and cons of each, the benefits of brand affiliation versus non-affiliation, and our proprietary Brand Matrix which ranks the seven major brand chains according to 13 key quantitative metrics. We also provide our expectations for distribution costs, management contract terms, soft brands, non-branded operators, and independent hotels.

Topics Covered

  • The advantages and disadvantages of different ownership operating models
  • Key considerations when entering into management and franchise agreements
  • An overview of the hotel industry in terms of branded versus non-branded and managed versus franchised versus owned properties
  • Why the large brands have increasingly shifted to asset light
  • The benefits of brand affiliation
  • How consolidation has negatively impacted hotel owners
  • Examples of when to remain independent versus affiliate with a brand
  • An overview of Skift Research’s proprietary Brand Matrix ranking seven major brand chains
  • Skift Research’s expectations for distribution costs, management contract terms, soft brands, non-branded operators, and independents


  • Rebecca Stone, CFA - Senior Analyst, Skift Research
  • Meghan Carty - Associate, Skift Research

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