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Bad News for Bonvoy

Bad News for Bonvoy
Jeff Edwards

Marriott International’s well-publicized troubles following the thorny merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts have once again benefitted rival Hilton Hotels and Resorts. According to the independent brand valuation firm Brand Finance, Hilton has surpassed Marriott as the most valuable brand among the leading hospitality companies.

Things haven’t exactly been going great for Marriott since absorbing Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Now, there are indications the hotel giant’s struggles are taking a toll on the brand’s overall value. According to an independent consulting firm, Brand Finance, Hilton has overtaken Marriott to be named the world’s most valuable hotel brand.

“Hilton’s strategic approach to brand growth has allowed it to extend its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand,” Brand Finance Valuation Director Savio D’Souza said in a statement announcing the new top hotel chain. “At the same time, endorsement from the flagship brand has rendered benefits across the portfolio as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton have seen their brand values sore. In its centennial year, Hilton is well-positioned for another hundred years of success.”

According to the report, three of the brands in Hilton’s portfolio – Homewood Suites, Double Tree and Hampton – are among the fastest growing in the entire industry. Meanwhile, Marriott’s brand value decreased by a whopping 30% in the most recent rankings.

Brand Finance defines brand value as the net economic benefit that the brand owner could realize by licensing that brand name in the open market. The rankings consider “brand strength” to be the brand name’s intangible value when compared to other brand names within the given industry.

The recent results cap something of a rough run for Marriott in recent months. In November, the company was forced to fess up to what is still considered among the biggest single hacker-involved data breaches ever. Both former Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards members have not been quiet about the belief that they have been slowly losing status, redemption values, perks and customer service reliability following the merger. More recently, the hotel chain’s most loyal members have banded together to revolt against Marriott’s notoriously difficult-to-navigate Bonvoy rewards program. Disgruntled guests have even coined the turn of phrase “bonvoyed” to help identify loyalty members who have suffered perceived mistreatment at the hands of the company.

Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta announced earlier this year that Marriott’s woes have been Hilton’s gain. He indicated in February that the Hilton Honors loyalty program saw an increase of 14 million new members. Nassetta attributed the spike in new Hilton Honors memberships, in part, to recent dissatisfaction with the competition. If Hilton’s new perch atop the industry is any indication, it appears this trend is continuing.


[Image Source: Hilton]

View Comments (6)


  1. srdshelly

    May 20, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Did he really release a statement saying these Hilton properties have seen their brand value “sore”? I’m not the spelling police when it comes to quickly written comments online, but for a formal statement in a high level business situation? Not inspiring.

  2. Burittoman

    May 20, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Haven’t stayed at a Marriott property since March. I am Lifetime Plat Elite with Marriott. Why bother staying there when I can get lifetime at Hilton and perhaps better service/amenities?

  3. Centurion

    May 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Let me see if I can have club access and free breafast or a recent Marriott Ritz property wanted $250 a day extra for club access. Yeah Im spending money at Hilton for a while. No brainer.

  4. edgewood49

    May 21, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Jeff, does any of this surprise you? Marriott has been in a slow downward spiral for a long time now as they moved from “service and quality” to “door count” and one can lay most of the blame in equity capitol investments but then that goes across the spectrum. It’s all about driving down costs to achieve more profit. Rather than policing their franchises properties and how they manage their guest Marriott simply turns a blind eye. Hell look at Laylow Honolulu or the CY there as well. Marriotts really ?

    As someone that has been a loyal Marriott traveler since the early 1980’s and Lifetime Titanium ( I hate that as much as I do Globalist) it’s sad to see the steady decline, sure miss the Marriotts at the helm.

  5. milepig

    May 21, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I’m part of the herd leaving. After enjoying airline-affiliated status for years I’ve been summarily downgraded to “dirt” level. I get that I’m not a valued customer to them. So fine. I personally dislike Hilton so I’m just taking the “free agent” route for now, an booking whatever hotel has the best location and rates for where I’m traveling, ofter getting great rates from places like Hotel Tonight.

  6. edgewood49

    May 21, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    “milepig’ you’re not alone I too have LT Titanium status yet “sleeping around” more these days !! Burning points on international stays

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