The independent or boutique hotel segment has never been in a better position as it is today. Lending is loosening, so as long as developers have a strong story behind their asset, having a common brand flag attached is no longer a necessity. Search engines and third-party distribution partners are leveling the sales-and-marketing playing field so independent hotels have the tools to get just as much exposure as brands and can target the right mix of customers better than ever before. On top of all that, study after study shows the up-and-coming generation of travelers—those traveling today, not years from now—are much more brand agnostic than any other generation. A recent study by travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt showed even consumers who are “elite” loyalty members are not blindly loyal and will often choose their hotel based on promotions rather than loyalty. Get the full story at HotelNewsNow