A two stage qualitative research methodology is used to evaluate the forces driving the adoption of global strategies in the hotel industry and the strategic response of international hotel chains to those “drivers”. Information gathered from industry experts is used to develop a set of hypotheses which are then tested against evidence provided by interviews with senior executives and other data.The results indicate that global strategy is most influenced by market factors, other drivers having much less influence. Cost drivers are constrained by limited economies of scale and standardization opportunities. Globalization is most marked in the thrust for a broad geographic presence in key overseas markets, the pursuit of global branding, positioning and uniform service standards. At the same time, customers expect “responsive” policies in areas such as facilities and services provided. Opportunities for greater integration and concentration of “back-office” functions, where information-based systems allow for cost economies and enhanced coordination, often remain relatively unexploited, primarily due to institutionalized management practice and control constraints.