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A review of hotel internationalization with a particular focus on the key role played by American organizations

Nickson, Dennis (1998) A review of hotel internationalization with a particular focus on the key role played by American organizations. Progress in Tourism and Hospitality Research, 4 (1). pp. 53-66.

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The increase in influential, non-American companies in the hotel industry is discussed. The paper considers whether this was caused a decline of American hegemony of the international hotel industry. Recent trends that have led to a belief in declining American influence are discussed. A case study of Accor®, the French travel, tourism and hospitality transnational, founded in 1967, which now has a multi-tier brand marketing strategy, is presented. By 1995 the company had focused on 6 core brands; Sofitel, Novotel, Mecure, Ibis, Formule 1 and Motel 6 (all ®). It is argued that although this would appear to be a shift away from the American model, in reality the underlying rational for this multi-tier branding can, arguably, still be regarded as global standardization and of great similarity to the American ideal of absolute functionality, certainty and consistency. Data provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 1995 indicated that half (6 of 12) the hotel companies with at least 50 000 rooms and 75 hotels in at least 15 countries were American owned. It is concluded that American organisations played and continue to play a key role in the international hotel industry.