“Who does what” is the first thing to learn about investing in hotels.
Investment-level hotel stakeholders are:
~ Owner – packages the deal
~ Operator – runs the hotel
~ Brand – provides distribution and enforces quality standards
Sometimes, these are all combined into one. Most often, they’re all separate, the brand also operates, or the operator has some ownership stake.
Big brands actually own very few hotels. (Marriott only owns 12)
They’re sales and marketing engines that deliver their most value in franchising / licensing their brand.