Best Western hotels Choice Hotels Hilton Hotels Worldwide Hyatt Hotels InterContinental Hotels Group Loyalty Traveler Marriott Hotels Starwood Hotels Wyndham Hotels

Global Positioning of Hotel Chains

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand 

Bill Marriott (of Marriott Hotels) wrote a blog post last week, “Weathering Turbulent Times” in which he states “business outside of North America is terrific – and that’s where over 60% of our new full-service hotels will be built.”  I frequently see articles about large international contracts for new hotels in India, China, and Russia.  Several reports have come out about hotels relying on their international sectors to maintain profitability.  Hotel rates rising 20-40% year-to-year in India and the Middle East over the past few years has made these locations some of the most expensive in the world for lodging.

I wanted a chart to track the proportion of international properties in each hotel chain.  My experience has been the most consistent upgrades occur when staying at international hotels as a high elite member of a hotel loyalty program.  The best value for free room stays using points also tends to be for international properties. And now it looks like the growth of the major hotel loyalty program member hotels will be outside the USA for the next few years.

So how are different hotel companies positioned in their international portfolio? 

This is really an important consideration in choosing your hotel loyalty program if you want to travel the world and take advantage of your frequent guest opportunities for free stays in expensive places.


USA Hotels and International Hotels (percentage of total hotels) in major hotel corporations:      

Best Western 2,400 hotels in USA, 1,800 international (43% international)

Starwood Hotels 520 hotels in USA; 340 international (40% international)

Carlson Hotels 700 hotels in USA; 250 international (36% international)

Hyatt Hotels 320 hotels in USA; 120 international (27% international)

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 3,100 hotels in USA, 900 international (23%)

Choice Hotels 4,770 hotels in USA, 830 international (15% international)

Hilton Hotels Corporation 2,600 hotels in USA; 400 international (13% international)

Marriott Hotels Corporation 2,600 hotels in USA; 400 international (13% international)

Wyndham Hotels  6,130 hotels in USA,  370 international (6% international) 

(While Wyndham Hotels has the lowest percentage of hotels in international locations, the company also operates the profitable time share RCI and a rental system in Europe which generates most company revenue and has strong international component.  These vacation rentals are not included in hotel properties.)

Hilton and Marriott have big plans for abroad.  Hyatt and Starwood look well-positioned for expansion.  Best Western is a program that will benefit you in a multitude of places with 1,800 hotels outside the USA.

 Source data for hotel numbers, geographic locations, and hotel brands:

Best Western: 4,200 hotels  (1,805 hotels outside North America or 43% international)

            2,395 North America

            1,312 Europe

            75 Asia/Middle East

            265 Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific

            43 South/Central America

            6 Africa

Choice Hotels: 5,600 + hotels  (830 outside North America)  14.8%

Choice Hotels International Properties: (Source from December 2007, page 30)

            Canada 273 Hotels

            Mexico 17

            Central America 13

            Brazil 48

            Europe 441

            India 25

            Australia/New Zealand 261

            China 2

            Japan 42

            832 hotels outside North America

          1,100+ international hotels 

Choice Hotels by Brand  

          549 Comfort Inn/Comfort Suites

            378 Quality Inns

            118 Clarion

            16 Sleep Inn


Hilton Hotels Corporation: 3,000 hotels  (about 400 international properties)

13.3% international

Hilton Hotels By Brand

            Hilton 505 hotels

            Conrad 15

            Doubletree 189

            Embassy Suites 190

            Hampton Inn 1,511 (99% of Hampton Inns are in USA)

            Hilton Garden Inn 362

            Homewood Suites 223

            Waldorf=Astoria 5


Hyatt Hotels  435 hotels, 117 international hotels)  27% international

USA 318 hotels

Canada 4 hotels

Mexico 6 hotels

Asia   52 hotels

Europe 28 hotels

South America 4 hotels

Caribbbean 3 hotels

Australia/New Zealand 9 hotels

Africa/Middle East 11 hotels 

Summerfield Suites, 30 hotels in USA

Hyatt Place, 111 hotels in USA)

InterContinental Hotels Group – 4,000+ hotels  (About 900 international hotels)

22.5% international

InterContinental Hotels 153 properties (USA 21, Canada 3, Mexico 10)

            Americas 52 hotels

            Europe, Middle East, Africa 64 hotels

            Asia Pacific 37 hotels

Crowne Plaza 308 hotels

            Americas 176 hotels

            Europe, Middle East, Africa 76 hotels

            Asia Pacific 56 hotels

Holiday Inn 1,369 hotels

          Americas 946 hotels

            Europe, Middle East, Africa 328 hotels

            Asia Pacific 95 hotels

Hotel Indigo 14 hotels

            Americas 14 hotels

            Europe, Middle East, Africa 1 hotel (opening London Summer 2008)

Holiday Inn Express 1,819 hotels

            Americas 1,619 hotels

            Europe, Middle East, Africa 188 hotels

            Asia Pacific 12 hotels

Staybridge Suites  130 hotels

            Americas 130 hotels

Candlewood Suites 169 hotels

            Americas 169 hotels


Marriott Hotels Corporation 

3,000 Hotels  (400 international hotels) (13.3%)

Marriott Hotels ,  521 hotels = 343 USA, 178 International

JW Marriott, 39 hotels = 16 USA, 23 International

Renaissance Hotels, 143 hotels = 75 USA, 68 international

Courtyard by Marriott, 770 hotels = 697 USA, 73 international

Residence Inn by Marriott,  547 hotels = 529 USA, 18 international

Fairfield Inn, 535 hotels = 527 USA, 8 international

TownePlace Suites, 145 hotels in USA

SpringHill Suites, 187 hotels = 186 USA, 1 international

Ritz-Carlton Hotels  68 hotels = 36 USA, 32 international

Starwood Hotels, 860 Hotels 

600 North America, 260 international hotels (30%)

USA 517

Canada 51 hotels

Mexico 23 hotels

Caribbean 9 hotels

South America  36 hotels

Europe  74 hotels

Africa 40 hotels

Middle East 58 hotels

Asia Pacific 151 open (36 hotels scheduled to open in next 18 months)


Wyndham Hotels, Howard Johnson and Ramada are primary international chains.

6,550 franchised hotels  (About 370 international hotels, 6% of total hotels)

Europe 212 hotels

Middle East 13 hotels

Africa 10 hotels

Asia Pacific 133 hotels