Q: Last year the big news was the Marriott acquisition of Starwood. While we're not seeing deals like that quite yet, we have seen some movements such as Commune and Destination Hotels merging into Two Roads Hospitality, Red Lion purchasing Vantage, Wyndham buying Fen Hotels. What other types of moves do you foresee this year, and why is there still such a need for these mergers and acquisitions? Two Roads’ Leondakis: We will continue to see people in the hotel industry expanding to other related industries, just like AccorHotels (bought) One Fine Stay (a vacation rental business). You'll see more people in the hospitality industry exploring other related travel industries and becoming more of an overall service provider. Red Lion's Mount: Some of the smaller regional brands — those with 50 to 250 hotels — are starting to feel a little insecure and that they may not be relevant going forward. So they need to seek a little bit of a safe harbor. At least in our case, I know our guys (Vantage) were very worried about technology and where things were going and felt that if they didn't sell that they would be become irrelevant going forward. So I think you'll see more of it. Wyndham’s Ballotti: Size matters; consolidation will continue. You mentioned our acquisition of Fen this year and Dolce last year. Of our 18 brands, 17 have been acquired, and we'll continue to look for opportunities along that line. IHG’s Maalouf: Typically, when you see acquisitions in the hotel industry they are to achieve generally one of three things: Either more brands or more geography or more scale. Now, (mergers and acquisitions is) only one way to achieve those. ... The focus on mergers and acquisitions should be broader within the focus on what are your strategies to add one of those three essential components to have the right heft in the global hospitality industry. Get the full story at USA Today