Cornell Center For Hospitality Research

Dual branding of hotels has become a growing industry practice. Beyond the potential marketing benefits of the dual-branding strategy, this paper tests whether dual-branded hotels operate more efficiently than comparable single-branded hotels (and therefore deliver better bottom-line results).

Comparing a proprietary longitudinal data set on the operating performance generated by dual-branded hotels in the U.S. against a set of comparable single-branded hotels, we document mixed results. While dual- and single-branded hotels achieve similar occupancy percentages, dual-branded hotels generate higher average daily rate and revenue per available room.

That said, dual-branded hotels have similar departmental expenses to those with a single brand. Although dual-brand hotels achieve some savings in undistributed expenses, for example, administrative and general (A&G) and maintenance, they incur higher IT and marketing expenses.

As a result, gross operating profit margins are slightly lower in dual-branded hotels than in single-branded hotels. In sum, we document limited operating efficiency gains in dual-branded hotels compared to single-branded hotels. However, we recognize that the novelty of dual branding may mean that we need to allow more time to allow these hotels to achieve stabilized operation.

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