As room vacancies rise, independent hotel owners are increasingly linking up with large hotel chains for a lifeline to more customers.
In turn, frequent travelers seeking a reprieve from cookie-cutter hotel properties are finding more hip, boutique-style hotel options without sacrificing loyalty points.
Marriott International joined the trend this week when it announced it will market a collection of upscale, independent hotels under a new brand: The Autograph Collection. Member hotels, whose rooms will now be sold through Marriott.com and Marriott´s global reservation system, will get access to Marriott´s large customer base. Yet the hotels will retain their name and design and largely be operated independently.
See the full story at http://www.usatoday.com/travel/hotels/2009-11-12-hiphotels12_ST_N.htm