Have you ever driven past a hotel – say, a Hilton – and the next week the same hotel is a Marriott? It happens in the hotel industry from time to time. Now it is easy track these branding changes, called re-flagging in the industry. STR Analytics actually reviews this information and maintains a huge database. They have tracked around 90,000 brand changes over the past 25 years and some of their results may be surprising.
While 60% of properties have never changed their brand, another 20% have changed once. The remainder have changed brands at least twice. Independent hotels are much more likely to remain that way, twice as long as branded properties.
Upscale brands are the least likely to switch, though higher tier luxury and upper upscale are slightly more common. Midscale and economy are the most frequent to re-flag. Despite averaging over 3,000 brand changes a year, STR maintains that most properties are very loyal to their first brand. However, once a property changes their flag, it is not that uncommon for them to change again.