The global hotel industry is expected to see continued year-over-year growth. This could prove especially lucrative to the companies involved in a new merger that would create the world's largest hotel chain, boasting more than 30 lodging brands and more than 1 million rooms. Could this create a great growth play for your portfolio?

Today, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) announced that it has agreed to a deal with Marriott International (MAR - Get Report) that will be worth $13.6 billion. Although still subject to shareholder approval (and Chinese rival Anbang Insurance Group could always bid higher), the merger will involve shareholders receiving $21 in cash and 0.8 shares of Marriott's common stock for each Starwood share owned.

The path to the agreement has been somewhat rocky. Last week, a proposed deal between the two hotel chains was called off when Chinese behemoth Anbang Insurance Group jumped in with its own offer. The original Starwood-Marriott deal had involved $2 in cash and 0.92 shares of Marriott for each Starwood share owned. Anbang's Friday offer was for $78 in cash, worth in total roughly $13.2 billion.

Penalties for the breakup of this new deal are stiff. If Starwood cancels the merger for another buyer, it will need to pay $450 million, in addition to as much as $18 million owed to Marriott for deal financing costs.

Arne Sorenson, Marriott's CEO, said in a statement that the joined companies expect as much as $250 million in annual cost savings from this deal.

Starwood's brands include the blockbuster Sheraton chain, as well as Westin and a portfolio of boutique, luxury, and historic hotels. Marriott is the owner of travelers' favorites Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn. The newly created hotel chain will consist of a strong mix of lodgings for every budget and occasion, making Marriott stock perfectly suited for your long-term wealth building needs.

Anbang, meanwhile, has been on a hotel-buying spree, recently purchasing the word-famous Waldorf Astoria in New York City for almost $2 billion and entering into an agreement to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts from the Blackstone Group for nearly $6.5 billion.

Marriott shares are currently priced at around $72, down from their 52-week high of $85 last March. The company has strong fundamentals and a history of revenue growth. Starwood is currently priced around $84. It's been lagging behind its peers in terms of growth and performance, which has been the driving force to open itself up to a merger in the first place.

Worldwide, hotel industry revenue is expected to reach $550 billion in 2016, versus $457 billion five years ago. If the deal sticks, Marriott will experience exponential growth as it grabs a bigger piece of that pie. With shares prices of both stocks currently on the low side, now's a great and pretty safe opportunity to get in on some merger action. You could purchase shares of Starwood in anticipation of the deal, or place a bet on Marriott and wait for what could turn out to be one of the biggest growth plays of the decade.

Are you making the right investment moves for your retirement, or are you blowing it by making all-too-common money mistakes? There are crucial steps that you should be taking now, to build wealth over the long haul. To find out whether you'll have enough money in your later years, download our free report: Your Ultimate Retirement Guide.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.