International Hotel Chains Agree to Co-Distribute Rooms


Paris-based Louvre Hotels Group, its Chinese parent company Jin Jiang International and London-based Magnuson Hotels Worldwide -- each with more than 1,000 hotels across China, Europe and North America -- have signed an agreement to co-distribute their geographically complimentary portfolios, with hotels in more than 50 countries.

The partnership is similar to one AccorHotels struck in June, opening its distribution platform to approximately 6,200 independent hotels. That partnership gave AccorHotels a percentage of the booking process and allowed the independent properties access to its global marketing and booking platform, not to mention the legions of loyal AccorHotels members.

The alliance between Louvre, Jin Jiang and Magnuson reflects a shift in the hotel marketplace, as companies seek to extend their market reach through strength in numbers. "The beauty of the operation is that it is very simple," said Pierre-Frédéric Roulot, president and CEO of Louvre Hotels Group. "We make our reservation systems synergistic without trying to create an additional tool. Each site is already individually visited by tens of millions of visitors, who will now have the opportunity to reserve in regions where we didn't all have properties individually."

In addition, said Roulot, the alliance will allow Louvre to capture a larger share of North American travelers, and he predicted his company would see a 3 percent increase in arrivals in the short term. Tom Magnuson, CEO of Magnuson Hotels Worldwide, which has a significant amount of properties in North America, said the reciprocal partnership represents a "formidable opportunity," because travelers also will be able to accumulate and consume loyalty points across the three independent chain portfolios.

On Sept. 1, 2015, the three hotel companies will begin migrating roughly 100 properties each month, giving preference to those with the ability to accommodate international clients. All three portfolios are expected to be integrated by year-end 2016.