To date, hotel research firm STR says there are nearly 1,100 global hotel brands or hotel affiliations that include eight properties or more. STR said it was unable to offer a comparison to the number of global brands a decade ago. But the brand proliferation trend is one that began with the rise of boutique and lifestyle properties more than a decade ago, before the Great Recession, and one that picked up steam even more rapidly in what has become one of the longest recoveries in hotel industry history. So what is driving the nonstop push by companies large and small to create so many different products? The increasing desire by consumers for new and varied experiences as well as a variety of choices, depending on whether they are traveling for business, as couples, with family or with friends, experts say. "Companies announce new brands, I believe, to address changing consumer demands and shifting changes in demographics," said Adam Weissenberg, global leader of Deloitte & Touche's transportation, hospitality and services division. "But I also think companies want to be able to offer their owners the full range of brands from economy to luxury so that owners will be able to build any kind of hotel with them." Get the full story at Travel Weekly Read also "IHG launches new upscale brand, Voco"