Special Report

This Is the World's Least Successful Hotel Chain

Domestic travel was crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic. For a time, traffic for airlines, hotels, and cruises nearly disappeared. Some companies needed government assistance to stay afloat. International travel was hurt even more than domestic, as countries blocked visitors from outside their borders. Most restrictions, both international and domestic, have now been lifted. However, as the virus continues to spread, the industry will never be the same again.

As people do start to travel, another industry has recovered. A number of media and travel booking services rate hotels, airlines, and hotels. Some of these ratings are based on customer reviews. Others are the opinion of travel experts. Presumably, these ratings and reviews matter in terms of how people travel and where they stay. (If you’re planning holiday travel, here’s how expensive hotels are at 29 popular Memorial Day destinations.)

The small-business travel website Bounce recently rated major hotel chains by several measures – including Most and Least Successful. And according to their rating, the least successful hotel chain in the world is Park Plaza Hotels, owned by the Radisson Hotel Group – one of the world’s largest hotel umbrella companies, controlling about 1,400 hotels worldwide. (If more intimate lodging is your preference, here’s a look at the best bed and breakfast in every state.)

The site’s Hotel Chain Index considered hotel review scores, number of Google searches, number of countries where a chain was located, number of available hotel locations, number of five-star properties, and annual revenue of the parent company. Information to support these metrics was pulled from BestCompany, Facebook, Trustpilot, Google Keyword Planner, Wikipedia, ZoomInfo, DNB and Five Star Alliance.

These are the world’s least successful hotel chains

Though Park Plaza is an upscale chain, it ended up on the bottom of the ranking because it has only 35 hotels in seven countries, so figures in fewer Google searches than any other chain and has more limited availability than most of the other chains reviewed. 

The second least-successful chain, budget-priced Econo Lodge (owned by Choice Hotels), was among the most popular chains in terms of Google searches, but had an average user score of only 2.3/5 and modest revenues. The third least successful chain, Raffles Hotels (owned by the French multinational Accor S.A.), is a luxury operation with 11 five-star properties, but it has only 21 locations in 15 countries, and its limited availability renders it less successful than most.

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