Independent hotel operators and chains
In the early days hotels used to owned and operated by individual hoteliers.
Since the days of franchises and lodging chains, many independent owned hotels faced the problem of not getting their fair share in the market place.
Understandable chains with worldwide referral systems have much more advertising power and may pull guests from the independent hotels with special offers.
In the 1960s and 70s independent hotel owners found help by using referral organizations. Several of the largest referral associations in America were Quality Courts, Best Western, Master Host and Best Eastern. Most of these have evolved into full service membership associations which are undistinguishable from franchise companies.
Looking at the power of the internet for hotel reservations one may expect many changes as to the need, price and usefulness of some of the hotel associations.
But not only the American hotels have joined associations it’s the same all around the globe.