InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) remains the largest hotel company in the world by room numbers, according to annual research.
The UK-based company has surpassed the 600,000 room mark keeping it in the number one spot since 2004, with Wyndham Hotel Group in second position, MKG Hospitality said.
Wyndham recorded a 7.7% increase in its room supply which was predominantly driven by the $131m (£81.5m) acquisition of two brands from Global Hyatt: the economy Microtel Inns and the long-stay product Hawthorn Suites, together adding almost 400 new properties.
Hilton Hotels, which is owned by private equity firm Blackstone, recorded the largest growth among the top 10 at 9.3%, bringing its global room count to more than 500,000. It added 300 new properties in 2008 and growth of the La Quinta brand was one of the main contributors, almost doubling its room inventory since it joined the fold in 2006.
Vanguélis Panayotis, director of development, at MKG Hospitality, said franchise contracts will now be "the major battle ground" for the leading hotel groups.
He added that figures were strong because of projects that had already launched prior to the financial downturn in 2008.
"Although some growth is still expected, the rest of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 will prove to be much slower, with companies acting a lot more cautious in order ride-out the current economic uncertainty," Panayotis said.
Top 10 Hotel Groups in the world
- InterContinental Hotels Group
- Wyndham Worldwide
- Marriott International
- Hilton Hotels
- Accor Group
- Choice Hotels
- Best Western
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts
- Carlson (holdings in Rezidor Hotel Group)
- Global Hyatt
By Gemma Sharkey
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