After a nearly 12-month process, Marriott has officially absorbed Starwood Hotels & Resorts, making it the biggest hospitality company in the world. Marriott now operates or franchises more than 5,700 hotels across the globe with 30 brands and more than 1.1 billion hotel rooms. “Our portfolio gives our customers so many more options to choose from,” Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International said in a conference call. “Now more than ever, we have the right brand in the right place for every guest.” Marriott has announced immediate changes following the merger—most notably that it is working to build a new loyalty program that will combine the best-loved benefits of Starwood and Marriott’s programs. Additionally, members of both SPG Rewards and Marriott Rewards will have matched statuses–a gold Marriott member will have the same rank in Starwood’s rewards program—and members can also share benefits across rewards accounts. To read more, click here.