Marriott International Debuts First-Ever Campaign for New Category Marketing Approach

Marriott - 16 August 2017
Marriott International announced a new strategic advertising approach to connect guests with its brands and associates. "Golden Rule," the multi-dimensional campaign debuted today in the U.S., and will for the first time feature four of Marriott International's brands together: Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Four Points by Sheraton and SpringHill Suites.The campaign represents Marriott International's entry into category marketing, a critical evolution of how the company will leverage its collective strength to present a more powerful offering to consumers. Though distinct in their own identity, Courtyard, Fairfield, Four Points and SpringHill Suites are collectively known as the "classic select" brands and represent more than a third of the properties in Marriott's 30 brand portfolio. Together, they are united by their service rooted in human connection, which gave foundation to the "Golden Rule" message.Noticing an increasingly challenging travel environment, Courtyard, Fairfield, SpringHill and Four Points found the timing right to celebrate the humanity delivered at its hotels that can often be missing inside today's travel experience. The centerpiece of the campaign, "Human," is a 60 second anthemic spot that celebrates the relevance of this not only in our hotels, but around the world. To complement the 60 second spot, a series of 30 second spots will further bring the campaign to life through real stories from associates reinforcing our warmth, familiarity and the genuine human connections that has always been our guiding principles and is the golden thread that ties these brands together."The 'Golden Rule' campaign personifies how our associates fundamentally go beyond making one's bed to making someone's day," said Paige Francis, Vice President Global Brand Marketing. "With these four brands comprising a third of Marriott's portfolio, we use our powerhouse status to celebrate human connections, whether it's in Seattle or Singapore. Beyond a campaign, this illustrates that the hospitality we deliver at these four brands can serve as a guiding principle of how all people should treat each other."The campaign's multi-platform media plan will hit all screen sizes, first in the U.S. before expanding internationally next month in Canada, with a diverse media plan consisting of cinema, broadcast, in-flight and mobile.The ads will be complemented by digital-only content that highlights real associates and guests at properties around the world. These stories will be featured on the campaign landing page ( along with social media channels. Marriott International is also preparing a docuseries for later this fall that will celebrate the most extraordinary examples of altruism.Marriott International collaborated with advertising agency mcgarrybowen to develop and produce the campaign. For more information, visit:

Marriott Hotels Announces The Shortlist For Its 2017 Testbed Programme

Marriott - 9 August 2017
The eight shortlisted start-ups will now be invited to London on 22 and 23 August to pitch their solutions in front of a panel of judges, including Georgie Barrat, presenter of The Gadget Show, tech industry leaders, and senior Marriott figures, who will decide which start-ups will enter the TestBED programme and pilot their products in one of the Marriott Hotels in Europe.The shortlisted start-ups are:Reward Technology - a UK start-up that has developed a digital engagement platform using smart card detection. Reward Technology offers guests personalised communication and services based on the detection of their loyalty and/or room key card.Umbo - a US start-up that has developed a device that turns surfaces into interactive interfaces by projecting information and using gesture recognition to navigate. Umbo could be installed in guest rooms, meeting rooms and/or public spaces and allow guests to interact with content that is projected onto surfaces.HiJiffy - a Portugal-based start-up that has created an AI powered chatbot designed for the hospitality sector. Through the use of chatbots, Marriott Hotels can offer a variety of services to its guests using Facebook Messenger at any place and time, in an effective and efficient way.My Brain Technologies - a French start-up that has created 'Melomind' - a brain training headset that uses neuroscience to combat stress and anxiety to help individuals relax. 'Melomind' would offer guests a single stress-relief session or a personalised coaching programme that could be developed over a series of stays.Mymanu - a UK start-up proposing 'Click' - wireless earbuds that offer live voice translation in 37 languages. 'Click' offers the ability to communicate with guests in their native language and make their interaction with Marriott associates feel more seamless and natural.New'ee - a French start-up that has developed a device that wirelessly turns furniture into speakers, allowing guests to broadcast music without the need for speakers. New'ee could be used in guest rooms or public spaces to enable a more efficient and focused diffusion of sound.Phaceology - a US start-up that has developed a platform enabling analysis of emotional responses in real time, to improve employee performance and customer experience. It offers the ability to track associates' communication performance and help to improve it.Optishower - a Portugal-based start-up that has developed smart meters to measure water and electricity consumption and the ability to provide associates and guests with analysis of usage. Marriott Hotels could use 'Optishower' both to reduce wastage as well as offer its guests the ability to track their own consumption and be rewarded for sustainable energy use during their stay.Key insights from the application processTravel apps and concierge services continue to be the main focus of start-ups in the travel-tech sector, accounting for over 33% of applications for the 2017 programme.Most travel apps looked to capitalise on the growing trend for experiential travel, offering diverse solutions for travellers to discover, curate and share experiences. Shareability was a recurring theme, with over half of the travel apps based on social media and the ability to enable travellers to share their discoveries with others.Mobile served as the main touchpoint in a third of the applications; particularly those offering concierge services, of which two thirds were mobile first/only solutions. Several start-ups already offering online booking/mobile key solutions were looking to expand their offering to a full-service customer journey, providing seamless experiences from booking to check-out.IOT and wearable tech featured in approximately 20% of the products put forward, suggesting a growing trend towards technologies that can be used 'on the go'. This is up on last year, where IOT and wearable tech accounted for just 3% of submissions.The adoption, implementation and widespread use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is still nascent.For more information on the accelerator programme, please visit

Building a Foundation of Hospitality

Marriott on the Move | By Bill Marriott - 9 August 2017
Five years ago, my family's foundation partnered with San Diego State University to create the China Hospitality Education Initiative, or CHEI. Our idea was to establish relationships with a few Chinese schools and offer hospitality teachers hands-on operational experiences and teaching resources to supplement textbooks.

BEER WE GO! Four Points Best Brews Around the World Brew Off Kicks Off International Beer Day

Marriott - 7 August 2017
BETHESDA, Md. --POINT 1: Four Points, a booming Marriott International hotel brand known for its love of beer, is embarking upon a global trip discovering the world's best brews. The journey kicked off at the new Four Points Manhattan Midtown West last night, the eve of International Beer Day, and will continue across the globe before culminating at the Four Points Barcelona Diagonal in October.Four Points Best Brews Around the World Brew Off Kicks Off International Beer DayPOINT 2: Four Points' Best Brews Around the World celebrates the brand's signature initiative, a dedicated program in which each of the brand's 225+ hotels around the world showcases a local, craft beer which has been chosen based on taste, popularity, quality and proximity to the property. A Best Brew is available on tap at each Four Points, offering travelers an authentic taste of local beer culture wherever their travels may take them.To add further authenticity and credibility to the Best Brewstm program, Four Points is enrolling select associates at each "Best Brews Around the World Brew Off" hotel in the globally recognized Cicerone Certification Program. This program is highly regarded in the food and beverage industry and is instrumental with the development of expert beer servers. Each of the selected Four Points associates will train and complete the first of four levels of the Cicerone Certification Program, becoming a Cicerone Certified Beer Server and on-property beer aficionado.POINT 3: At each stop during the Best Brews Around the World tour, two beers from local craft breweries will go "head to head" (pun intended) for bragging rights and to claim the winning spot as the hotel's newest Best Brew. The beers will be presented by the breweries and judged by the crowd, comprised of local beer lovers, each hotel's newly certified Cicerone, and hotel guests. Every "Best Brew Off" competition will be hosted by an influential "beer expert" who will help educate the crowd and cast the final vote. At last night's kickoff event at Four Points Midtown Manhattan West, Peekskill Brewery and LIC Beer Project squared off. LIC Beer Project's Higher Burnin' IPA was crowned the winner. The evening was hosted by Bella of " One Hoppy Lady."The remaining stops on the tour include: August 9, 2017 - Four Points Cancun Centro (Mexico) August 23, 2017 - Four Points Kelowna (Canada) September 13, 2017 - Four Points Melbourne Docklands (Australia) September 20, 2017 - Four Points Nairobi Hurlingham (Kenya) October 2017 - Four Points Barcelona Diagonal (Spain)POINT 4: "Four Points has a love for locally crafted beers, which is why we're traveling to the far corners of the globe to discover the best brews the world has to offer," said Callette Nielsen, vice president, global brand manager for Four Points. "We know the perfect pint has universal appeal, which is why we're celebrating International Beer Day with the launch of our 'Best Brews Around the World.' From Manhattan to Barcelona and Melbourne to Nairobi, we are taking our love of beer on the road. We invite local beer lovers and thirsty travelers to join us as we discover new Best Brews."For more information on Best Brews, click here.

Great Place to Work(r) and FORTUNE(r) Name Marriott International a Best Workplace for Millennials

Marriott - 1 August 2017
For the second year in a row, Marriott International has been named one of the Best Workplaces for Millennials, by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and FORTUNE magazine, landing in the top 20 at #14. See the full results here. This announcement comes on the heels of the brand-new Marriott Careers employer brand campaign "To the Journey" that has a particular focus on recruiting and retaining top millennial talent globally."We're honored Fortune and Great Place to Work have recognized Marriott International as one of the Best Workplaces for Millennials," said David Rodriguez, EVP and Global Chief Human Resources Officer for Marriott International. "This hyper-connected, tech savvy generation makes up a significant portion of our workforce - in fact, millennials accounted for 69 percent of all Marriott hires in 2016 in the U.S. alone. Personal happiness and wellbeing coupled with company pride are at the center of our culture and millennials are particularly attracted to job opportunities where they can feel good about themselves and their teams, have a passion for the work and also the organization overall.""Companies trying to engage Millennials should follow the example set by The Best Workplaces for Millennials. These companies have found that investing in a workplace culture based on trust, fair treatment for all, an authentic leadership style, and personal connections make Millennials 20 times more likely to plan a future there," said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work.More than 739 Marriott employees were surveyed by Great Place to Work and here's what a few had to say about the company being a great workplace for millennials:"What I find unique about Marriott is that the company has been able to stay true to its core values over the years. Employees at any level of the organization are aware of the company's culture and core values. When asked, Bill Marriott would often acknowledge that the key to his success was the employees. All these years later, the simple concept of 'take care of associates and they'll take care of the customers,' still rings true. There is flexibility and a focus on the balance of work and home life that you do not typically find in large corporations. However, what truly makes Marriott a great place to work are the people. Observing just my department, we are sixteen strong with 267 combined years of Marriott experience. We work as a cohesive team valuing each other's opinions and working together to achieve company goals.""At Marriott, you're only limited by yourself. If one of your goals is to move up, you can let your manager know and they will provide the tools necessary to achieve your goal.""This company values healthy associates and encourages us to take time off when we can, and to refresh, eat well and exercise," one employee says. "I value that they encourage this."Marriott International also previously ranked as one of the 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity, 10 Best Workplaces for Latinos and 10 Best Workplaces for African Americans, and has appeared on the overall Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list every year since it began in 1998.About the Best Workplaces for MillennialsRankings are based on feedback from over 398,000 employees at Great Place to Work- Certifiedtm organizations. An anonymous Trust Index(c) survey assessed Millennial employees' experience of their managers' competence, respect and fairness in the workplace, meaningful work and other elements essential for an outstanding workplace. Results were compared to colleagues' responses from other generations. Rankings also take into account the consistency of experience for all Millennials, across various job roles and demographic backgrounds.

Marriott International Announces Dynamic New Sales and Marketing Leadership Team to Support its Rapidly Growing Middle East and Africa Portfolio

Marriott - 1 August 2017
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) ( today announced the expansion and strengthening of its Sales and Marketing Leadership Team for Middle East and Africa. This bold new initiative comes on the heels of the successful mega merger between Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts and the fast progressing integration of the two companies. The revamped Brand, Marketing, Sales and Consumer Services (BMSC) Leadership Team comprises of highly experienced professionals from Marriott International and legacy Starwood Hotels and Resorts, bringing together exceptional talent and expertise from both companies and speaks to the company's commitment to support its enhanced footprint and aggressive growth plans in the region.Led by seasoned Marriott International veteran, Neal Jones, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, the team will provide dedicated support to the company's thriving regional portfolio and will be responsible for driving top line revenue for Marriott International brands, ensuring the regional Sales and Marketing strategy is aligned with the company's vision and priorities.With a current portfolio of over 240 hotels with 54,000 rooms in 30 countries, Marriott International is working towards targeting a projected growth of 150,000 rooms operational and pipeline in 38 countries by 2022 across Middle East and Africa.Commenting on the announcement, Neal Jones said, "The leadership changes we are announcing today are important to foster greater synergies, teamwork, accountability and nimble decision-making critical to lay a strong foundation that will support our ambitious growth plans in the region. I am extremely excited to work together with such a talented and diverse group of leaders who bring with them exceptional domain expertise as well as regional insights that will enable us to create a more vibrant organization that delivers value for all stakeholders.""I am confident that with this, we have the right structure and talent in place to accelerate our lead in the market, drive further innovation and strengthen the positioning of our brands while keeping our loyal and new guests at the centre of everything we do, steering us into the next phase of our growth and success," he added.Marriott's BMSC leadership team for Middle East and Africa has been formed with the following seasoned hospitality professionals currently on board and a Vice President Luxury Brands soon to be announced.Paul Dalgleish, Vice President of Sales & Distribution will be responsible for Property, Market and Area Sales Organisations as well as the Global Sales Organisation, whilst leading the Middle East and Africa Distribution Strategy. Previously Vice President of Sales for Marriott International, Paul has played a key role in the rapid expansion of the Middle East and Africa Region, deploying new and innovative sales strategies, whilst ensuring talent development lives as a discipline priority.Sarah Allen, Vice President of Revenue Strategy & Analysis will be responsible for Property, Market and Area Revenue Management, Remote Revenue Management Solutions and Revenue Management Analysis. Formerly Vice President of Revenue Management, Marriott International Middle East and Africa, Sarah is a Marriott International veteran and has played a key role in moving hotels onto Marriott's Revenue Management platforms implementing processes as well as setting up shared services across the markets to drive synergies. She was also the business leader for the integration of Protea Hotels which was acquired by Marriott International in 2014.Jitendra Jain, Vice President of Digital, Loyalty and Portfolio Marketing will be responsible for the company's award-winning Loyalty Programs, Partnerships, cross-brand marketing of Marriott International's regional portfolio and will lead all Digital Marketing, Platforms and Products. A Starwood veteran, Jitendra previously led the Marketing function for the former Starwood portfolio in the Middle East, where he spearheaded the transformation of marketing processes, talent and culture, cultivating a data-driven and forward-looking mindset leveraging digital, brands and loyalty.Sandra Schulze-Potgieter, Vice President of Premium and Select Brands will be responsible for Brand Marketing and Management for Marriott International's compelling portfolio of Premium and Select Brands and will oversee Restaurants & Bars Marketing as well as Area Field Marketing. Sandra was previously Senior Director, Brand Marketing & eCommerce for Marriott International Middle East and Africa managing Field Marketing, Brand Marketing, Public Relations, Partnerships, Social Media, Digital as well as Loyalty. She was instrumental in positioning Marriott International's lead in Brand Marketing in the region.Sarah Walker Kerr, Vice President of Communications Middle East and Africa will be responsible for devising and implementing the overall Communications Strategy for Marriott International in the region, driving visibility, enhancing the perception of the company and its brands and increasing its share of voice in the media. She will provide strategic counsel to the senior executive leadership team, managing Internal and External Communications, Crisis Communications and Reputation Management as well as Brand Communications. A seasoned communications specialist, Sarah was previously Regional Director of Public Relations Middle East, Africa, India & Japan for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.Raheel Baggia, Senior Director, BMSC Planning and Services will be responsible for Integration and Change Management, Program Execution and Training. Prior to this Raheel served as Director, BMSC Consulting-Middle East and Africa. Since joining Marriott in 2013, Raheel has been working on strategic continent projects both in his previous role supporting BMSC-Middle East and Africa as well as in Europe where he was part of the Global Operations team.

Designing Omaha's First Entertainment District - The Capitol District

Marriott - 1 August 2017
OMAHA, Neb. -- A new district is emerging in downtown Omaha. The Capitol District, a mixed-use development combining hotel, apartments, retail, office, and outdoor entertainment, will open in phases starting in August with the opening of the new premier full-service Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District.An Iconic HotelThe iconic new 333-room Omaha Marriott Downtown, managed by Marcus(r) Hotels & Resorts, was designed by the internationally renowned architecture firm LEO A DALY and is being built by JE Dunn. The 12-story glass building is a significant addition to the downtown skyline, complementing the distinctive roofline of the Omaha Convention Center. The transparent building envelope creates a sophisticated presence along 10thstreet. "At night, the building takes on an elegant glow," said David Hawes, architect with LEO A DALY.The building's "wow" feature, winged corners on its south side, enable breathtaking 270-degree views of downtown Omaha's skyline that are unique in the city. The full-service hotel features over 17,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, hospitality suites, a roof top swimming pool with bar/entertainment area, full-service restaurant and bar and extra-large fitness center.A Social HotspotOn the pedestrian level, the Omaha Marriott Downtown is welcoming and transparent. "We were careful to create as much visual frontage as possible on the street level to allow people to see and be seen," added Hawes. "The high ceilings make the lobby a 'celebratory space' with views to the convention center to the east, and the city skyline to the west.""Hotels are becoming social hubs, places to hang out before and after events, and just popular cultural hotspots in general. We wanted the design to encourage locals and visitors to mingle in a casual but sophisticated environment," said Michelle Holmes, interior designer with LEO A DALY.Marriott was recruited for the hotel expressly because of the full-service chain's social, inviting vibe. "The Marriott brand is based around a 'great room,' and that's exactly what we wanted the lobby to be - a social space for the city," Holmes said.Comprising three main uses - lounge, dining room, and bar - the different portions of the grand lobby spill over into each other to create a cohesive but intimate gathering space.Local materials such as brick and iron bring the warehouse style of the Old Market into a sophisticated space, according to Holmes. Wood paneling hints at Omaha's roots, but is tailored with modern sophistication in keeping with Marriott's midcentury-modern-inspired aesthetic."It's all about layering textures - marrying old and new," added Holmes.A Dynamic Urban hubThe Capitol District forms a critical link between the events district, Riverfront, Old Market, and downtown core, adding much-needed density to the two blocks between 10th and 12th Street, south of Davenport."We wanted to create a vibrant, walkable enclave that is unlike anything else in downtown," said Hawes. "The design invites visitors who may feel isolated in the events district to experience the real Omaha, while also creating a comfortable, active place for residents to live, work, and play."Capitol District will be the first entertainment district in Omaha, taking advantage of a new city ordinance that allows alcoholic beverages outdoors. To complement the wide-open concept, the mixed-use design provides portals to entertainment that celebrates community use.The hotel and 218-unit Capitol District Apartments bookend the District on the east and west, each offering public-facing retail and bar spaces that spill out onto a central plaza, which is designed to serve as a modern town square. The hardscaped plaza, inspired by other great outdoor venues across the country, will have programming year-round, such as ice-skating and outdoor concerts.The buildings embrace the street at their base with strong, linear forms of masonry, glass and steel, "modern in form, but embracing the industrial heritage of the surrounding areas," Hawes added.Development ProgressA third, retail-focused building along the site's north side is under construction and will come online in Spring 2018. The eight-level parking garage has been completed and will connect, via skywalks, to the apartments, retail building and the Omaha Marriott Downtown. The final component, an office and retail building on the south side, is in the works.Progress has been rapid on the Capitol District Apartments, set to open in July. Using a proprietary modular construction system designed and engineered by Prescient, general contractor MCL Construction was able to complete structural work on a floor per week basis to complete the building in record time.More information on the Capitol District Development is available at: of the project site can also be seen live at: more information about the Omaha Marriott Downtown, visit more information about The Capitol District Apartments, visit the Capitol DistrictThe Capitol District is Omaha's newest downtown entertainment district. The District surrounds a technology-smart, modern town square and will feature a 218-unit high rise apartment tower, a full-service Marriott hotel, Class A office space, plenty of adjacent parking and over 20 diverse restaurants and bars - all within walking distance of Omaha's best civic, cultural and entertainment venues and the Riverfront. The Capitol District will connect, invigorate and entertain Omaha. The District will welcome people year-round at all times of day by hosting collaborative events, live music and everyday fun. The Capitol District is being developed by Shamrock Development, an Omaha company that specializes in creating urban mixed-use developments. For more information, visit and follow the development on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.About the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol DistrictLocated in the heart of Omaha's vibrant Capitol District, The Omaha Marriott Downtown is Omaha's newest full-service premier hotel. Within easy walking distance from the CenturyLink Arena & Convention Center and TD Ameritrade Park, the Omaha Marriott Downtown is the ideal venue for business meetings, weddings and weekend getaways. The 333-room hotel offers stunning features and amenities including over 17,500 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, hospitality suites, outdoor roof top swimming pool with bar/entertainment area, Starbucks(r) cafe, extra-large fitness center, parking garage and personalized concierge services. As one of only 55 "Redesigned Marriott" hotels in the world, the Omaha Marriott Downtown features floor to ceiling windows in all its guest rooms and 13 suites with custom furnishings and dynamic cityscape views. In addition to its fine amenities, the hotel offers guests creative culinary dining options at Society 1854 and Burdock + Bitters, sure to take guests on a sensory food and beverage journey. For more information, please visit: and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.The hotel is managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a leader in the hospitality industry since 1962. Marcus Hotels & Resorts creates asset value for hotel owners through its expertise in management, development and product repositioning, including hotel food and beverage concepts developed by its Marcus Restaurant Group. For more information, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.comand follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).About Leo A DalyEstablished in 1915, LEO A DALY is an international planning, architecture, engineering, and interior design firm. The firm's award-winning portfolio includes projects in 91 countries and all 50 states. With 800 employees in 30 offices worldwide, the firm consistently ranks as a top international design firm. For more information, visit

Marriott's "Boots on the Ground"

Marriott on the Move | By Bill Marriott - 26 July 2017
A Snapshot from this Year's Business Council Conference I can't believe it has been almost a year since the close of the Starwood acquisition. I am so proud of all of our associates and our integration teams for all of the hard work that they have done do make this...

Marriott Traveler Publishes Series of Road Trip Guides

Marriott - 20 July 2017
The Via Less Traveled: Wind Your Way Through Italy's Jaw-Dropping Hill TownsSandwiched between Rome and Florence, an almost mythical swath of earth exists -- one where low-rolling, vine-clad hills are crowned by centuries-old villas; stone-house-clustered towns are perched atop mountains; and the gently twisting roads make reality seem like an endless car commercial. Welcome to Central Italy.Read more here.Knock Your Great Smoky Mountains Family Road Trip Outta the ParkGreat Smoky Mountains National Park hits all the high notes for a perfect family road trip destination. It's got views, wildlife, waterfalls and trails galore and it's home to a certain theme park opened by Tenessee's beloved songbird, Dolly Parton.Read more here.Road Tripping Montana and Wyoming's National Parks on a BudgetFrom Devil's (Tower) hot to Glacier (National Park) cool, a road trip that starts in eastern Wyoming before heading northwest into Montana will overload your mind with the wonders of nature-- in the best possible way. Another perk? You can make the drive without taxing your wallet.Read more here.

Washington Marriott Wardman Park Provides Amnesty for Return of "Lost" Hotel Memorabilia - No Questions Asked!

Marriott - 19 July 2017
Now through the end of the year, Marriott Wardman Park will be accepting not only the appropriated Wardman Park Hotel memorabilia, but also the stories that go with them, the only question asked. Whether it was a wedding, a honeymoon, a family occasion or other life event, each of these collected items has a story to tell. Those with the best story (based on the judging criteria listed in the rules) submitted in print; will receive a two night weekend stay in the luxurious Langston Hughes suite, as well as 500,000 Marriott Rewards points to create future cherished memories around the world. Points can additionally be used for money-can't-buy experiences available on Marriott Rewards Moments or SPG Moments platforms. There, points, which can be transferred between loyalty accounts once linked, can be redeemed for exclusive experiences across different passion points around sports, food and entertainment. The winner will be announced in January 2018.

Accenture Interactive, Marriott International and 1776 Launch the Travel Experience Incubator

Marriott - 18 July 2017
Accenture Interactive, Marriott International, and 1776 , a leading global incubator and network for startups, today announced the launch of the Travel Experience Incubator, a new program designed to discover and foster startups working on innovative technologies and solutions to improve the travel experience. The incubator will bring together the hospitality industry expertise of one of the world's most innovative companies, Marriott International, and its official Travel Experience Incubator partner, Accenture Interactive, along with participating startups, to co-create unique and inventive new experiences for travelers.Startups are invited to immediately apply to The Travel Experience Incubator Challenge. Selected startups will be invited to participate in The Travel Experience Incubator, a three-month, travel industry focused program with opportunities for paid piloting and investment at the program's conclusion. The incubator will kick off in September 2017 at 1776's Crystal City Campus in Arlington, Virginia.The selected participants will receive a dedicated curriculum, drawing on the hospitality expertise of Marriott leadership, Accenture experts and the 1776 global mentor network. Through the program, startups will develop, validate, and test travel solutions using data and technology, with the goal to increase customer connectedness and enhance travel experiences.Marriott will draw on its deep experience in the hospitality business, supporting the incubator with its data-rich knowledge of customers as well as mentors from its executive team to coach the startups. Accenture will provide resources focused on human-centered design and digital technologies, as well as proprietary tools to help accelerate and scale real-time solutions. Startups will also will have access to Accenture's deep industry expertise in hospitality to lend additional mentorship and insight throughout the program. Accenture has proven experience working with the startup community through Accenture Ventures, which partners with and invests in growth-stage companies that create innovative enterprise technologies using an open innovation approach."Now, more than ever, people want their travel to be tailored, hyper-personalized and connected," said Julie Sweet, Accenture's Chief Executive Officer - North America. "As the official Travel Experience Incubator partner with Marriott, we are uniquely positioned to collaborate and scale innovation across the startup community to create new experiences for travelers.""We see The Travel Experience Incubator as a terrific opportunity to fuel promising startups focused on game-changing innovation for the lodging industry. We look forward to collaborating with these independent visionaries to reveal new business opportunities and enhanced guest experiences," said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. "Continuously innovating the guest experience from design to technology is a centerpiece of Marriott's culture and competitive advantage.""We've seen the success that is possible when startups and corporations work together to find better technological solutions, and the Travel Experience Incubator is an exciting opportunity to accomplish that in an established and global industry," said Evan Burfield, co-founder and CEO at 1776. "Large, forward-thinking companies, like Accenture and Marriott, are engaging successfully with startups, looking at startups as discovery arms and co-collaborators for innovation."More information about the Travel Experience Incubator Challenge, including the related application, is available on the 1776 website, click here.About Accenture InteractiveAccenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, helps the world's leading brands transform their customer experiences across the entire customer journey. Through our connected offerings in design, marketing, content and commerce, we create new ways to win in today's experience-led economy. Accenture Interactive was ranked the world's largest digital agency in the latest Ad Age Agency Report. To learn more follow us @accentureACTIVE and visit AccentureAccenture (NYSE: ACN) is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions - underpinned by the world's largest delivery network - Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 411,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at 17761776 is a public benefit corporation that empowers startup ecosystems around the world to solve complex challenges. To accomplish this, the company leverages its digital startup network, UNION; physical campuses in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco and Dubai; a global startup pitch competition, Challenge Cup; and deep staff expertise in regulatory issues. 1776 accelerates connections and outcomes among startups, corporations, and public institutions. For more information, please visit and follow @1776 on Twitterand @1776vc on Instagram.

Marriott Convention and Resort Network Soars to 100 Properties Across the Americas

Marriott - 11 July 2017
The Marriott International Convention & Resort Network ("CRN") announces growth of its collection to 100 hotels and resorts throughout the USA, Mexico, Caribbean and now also in Canada. The spectacular selection of large hotels is now the most comprehensive to provide valued meeting planners with additional options in highly sought-after meeting destinations.The Network's portfolio is comprised of properties from world-class brands such as Westin Hotels & Resorts(r), Sheraton Hotels & Resorts(r), The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts(r), JW Marriott(r), Autograph Collection(r) Hotels, Renaissance(r) Hotels, Marriott Hotels(r), and Gaylord Hotels(r). With this development, CRN continues to implement targeted strategies for the convention hotels and resorts, living up to the promise to have the widest breadth of options and also the richest selection of programs and knowledge experts."We are extremely excited by the opportunities that the addition of these properties presents to our customers," says Mike Wainwright, Vice President of Sales, Marriott Convention & Resort Network. "This presence in new markets allows for CRN to dramatically expand on the ability to provide meeting facilities in the most desired destinations and continue to deliver unparalleled service and experience in bigger and better ways."In conjunction with the expansion, CRN has unveiled a new website to introduce stronger tools for planners. Through preselected hotel search groupings, narrated site videos, and the MeetingsImagined platform, CRN delivers the essential components that planners want access to quickly and effortlessly.Planners using the Network can choose from properties in locations such as Seattle, Dallas, Charlotte, The Bahamas, Montreal, Vancouver and beyond.Note: For more details on CRN hotels and resorts, please see the full property list at and Marriott's Convention & Resort NetworkThe Convention & Resort Network is a premier collection of 100 world-class, integrated JW Marriott(r), Autograph Collection(r) Hotels, Renaissance(r) Hotels, Marriott Hotels(r) Gaylord Hotels(r), Westin Hotels & Resorts(r), Sheraton Hotels & Resorts(r) and The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts(r) dedicated to providing the ultimate meeting experience for attendees. With over 9.3 million square feet of meeting space and over 100,000 guest rooms, the Convention & Resort Network offers choices from New York to Los Angeles, Las Vegas to Cancun, and Montreal to Hawaii. Visit and and for more information.

Where's Your Happy?

Marriott on the Move | By Bill Marriott - 10 July 2017
I recently had the pleasure of doing a fireside chat with my son, David, at a Marriott conference. The theme of our conversation centered on how we promote associate wellbeing through our TakeCare program and where we find our happiness. It’s a simple topic on the surface, but the answer means something different to every person. It may sound cliché, but I really do find my happiness when I’m with associates. It’s why I spend so much of my time traveling from property to property around the world. I love meeting our associates and watching them create memorable experiences for our guests. I’m happiest when our associates can succeed, grow, and be happy.
Article by Danny Bryer

Tech takes on travel

Marriott - 5 July 2017
The last thing you're thinking about when putting your feet up on holiday is that you may be enjoying a break as a result of something as disparate to travel as data analytics, but, increasingly, that's the case. Behind the scenes, in tourism, there's a new wave of business strategy driven by technology processes, all generated to create a better experience for the visitor. At the forefront of this wave are teams of young IT geniuses, making the most out of the growth spurt in this dynamic sector.The technology infiltration is not a trend, it's here to stay. An outmoded way of thinking about the tourism sector is that it's spearheaded by front-of-house hospitality profes sionals, visitor-facing tour guides and operators and shuttle drivers with a mind map of their local areas. While those roles are central to the visitor experience, they don't tell the whole story.As the market develops it is becoming dominated by the younger segment of the population, aspirational, mobile-savvy travellers who research, plan and record their experiences from their devices. Up to 45 percent of all travellers are using their devices to do this, and this is what business operators are understanding. They have to stay ahead of their markets and provide the means for those travellers to travel according to their preferences. To remain successful in a competitive market, companies must be preemptive in their strategies.Larger tourism organisations such as airlines and hotel groups are harnessing the power of big data, information generated by and about their customers. Online transactions can provide a wealth of detail about your customer, fr om cookies generated by their web searching habits to the information they provide on booking and feedback forms. This data allows for targeted marketing strategies that are intimate and personalised. You can target customers based on their preferences - how, when and where they are likely to travel, based on their habits. The more they interact with you, and you with them, the more information is produced; multiply that by thousands, and you can see how useful the cloud becomes for storing and accessing all of this data. Then there are apps - for everything from research to booking and exploring in destination. Apps aid visitors by making their process of organising what they want to do much more efficient - the demand for easy-to-navigate apps to facilitate travel is huge. As are user-friendly websites that get results fast.The point is, IT professionals, designers, data analysts, advertising and marketing specialists, social media analysts and co mmunity managers are all becoming more central to the tourism sector, these careers dominated by young, creative people who understand their market. It's often relatively easy to develop the skills necessary for those careers by doing free courses online, so they are accessible to a new workforce who may not have the resources to study degrees. Their skills are bankable, however, and, within the right context, they can go on to lead teams and access senior positions in an economic climate that would see them battle to find employment.We're acutely aware that tourism is enjoying a period of growth in the Western Cape, despite many challenges. There's large-scale investment in hotel and conferencing properties, so the long-term prospects are looking good. Across the continent, even, international investment is following suit, and, as African nations join the race to get their countries connected, the pace is picking up. This rapid digitalisation presents rich o pportunities for young people seeking to maximise on the potential available by building businesses around strategies that are less about guesswork but around real-time data. We can study trends that show where areas of growth are and develop our strategies to meet needs even before our market is aware that those needs exist.Of course, we're not saying that the wealth of accumulated knowledge of older tourism professionals isn't of value - we need the brilliance of seasoned professionals more than ever before, to channel this hunger for technology and the marketing power it offers, we need leaders with vision who can motivate and direct the creative energy into strategies that benefit travellers.Those who will succeed are the forever-young who can relate to people of all ages, for those are our visitors, travel is an experience that rejuvenates and refreshes, always bringing new perspectives, so the people who work in tourism must have the desire to constantly evolve and maintain a fresh approach to life.It's not certain where the industry will be in ten or twenty years' time: after all, at the rate technology is developing, it would take a visionary like Bill Gates to predict how travel trends will change, but, for young people in South Africa, there's an opportunity that will endure, both for those that are in love with all of the possibilities technology offers and for those brave enough to step out as entrepreneurs.Next time you're on holiday, think of all the processes that got you there, from reading friend's posts on social media to booking online. Imagine the specialists working behind the scenes to make that happen. One doesn't always consider all the people whose contribution goes into you having a good time, but, if you do, you'll begin to see why there are so many career opportunities in tourism.

Marriott & Starwood Rewards Programs Unveil Master Classes

Marriott - 29 June 2017
New, global member series kicks off with Dwyane Wade, Laird Hamilton, Annika Sorenstam, Padraig Harrington, Eric Ripert, and othersWhether you want to learn how to whip up edible works of art, consistently drain the bottom of the net, or perfect your backswing, Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), are making it all possible with the new master class series. Available exclusively for members as a result of Marriott International's unrivaled roster of global brands, property amenities, and partnerships, these one-of-a kind, sought-after learning experiences are designed to be highly personal interactions with superstars in sports, culinary, entertainment and lifestyle. The first collection in the ongoing global master class series features hands-on learning experiences with basketball great Dwyane Wade, Hall of Fame golfer Annika Sorenstam, celebrated chef Eric Ripert and legendary surfer Laird Hamilton. These unique elevated experiences are in addition to the thousands of other experiences already offered on both Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments platforms."Our members believe life is an adventure worth pursuing," said David Flueck, Senior Vice President of Global Loyalty, Marriott International. "We're focused on taking the best of Marriott's loyalty programs - including our partnerships and extraordinary portfolio of hotels - and stepping it up with master classes that provide transformative experiences travelers cannot get anywhere else."Travel is but one of life's passions for the 100 million Marriott Rewards and SPG members, and master classes will inspire them to pursue and perfect their other passions wherever they travel. Redeemable using loyalty points, master classes will range from hands on experiences with decorated Michelin-starred and James Beard award-winning chefs, championship golfers, Hall of Fame caliber basketball players, on-property experts and others giants in their fields.The first featured opportunities available through the master class series include:NBA Skills Training with Dwyane Wade at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami - Skills and drills with the legendary Dwyane Wade on the hotel's NBA approved indoor basketball court.Cooking Lessons with Eric Ripert at the Cayman Cookout Hosted by The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman - Memorable culinary experiences over a four-day event with world-renowned top chefs, with activities that include an exclusive master cooking class with James Beard Award winning and Michelin starred Chef Eric Ripert.Surf Lessons with Laird Hamilton at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Florida - Pro surfer, Laird Hamilton teaches master surfing lesson on the hotel's SurfStream(r), the world's first standing wave machine.Culinary Experience with Chef Paco Perez at Hotel Arts Barcelona - Private culinary experience with Michelin starred Chef Paco Perez at Enoteca, followed by a multi-course private dining experience with wine pairings.Two-day Golf Clinic with Annika Sorenstam at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe - Improve your swing and get to know golf legend Annika Sorenstam over 18 holes of golf on the Old Greenwood Golf Course.Golf Lessons with Padraig Harrington at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in California - Shotgun start and skills brush up with three-time major champion golfer Padraig Harrington at the championship Ocean Course.Golf Skills Clinic with Thomas Bjorn at The Westin La Quinta Golf Resort & Spa, Benahavis, Marbella, Spain - Skills and technique clinic taught by 21-time worldwide champion, Thomas Bjorn at La Quinta Golf and Country Club in the renowned Spanish Golf Valley.Underwater Conservation with Jean-Michel Cousteau at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Hawaii - Join the legendary Jean-Michel Cousteau for an underwater conservation lesson in Maui.Additional master classes available to members of both SPG and Marriott Rewards include a fly-fishing adventure where members fly on The Ritz-Carlton Orlando's private floatplane to the upper reaches of the historic St. John's River to learn from Certified Casting Instructor angling techniques, as well as a tennis clinic taught by a pro player and a celebrity tennis enthusiast at the US Open. Future master classes, which will be added in the coming weeks and months, will continue to tap into Marriott International's unmatched depth & breadth of 30 brands, 6,100 properties in 124 countries & territories, including the Sound Suite at the W hotels, as well as exclusive partnerships with the largest music company, and some of the most popular music venues in the world.Since Marriott's acquisition of Starwood last year, members of Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards - which is part of Marriott Rewards - and SPG programs have been able to link their accounts at to access unparalleled benefits such as instant status matching and unlimited points transfer between programs that can be used to unlock a plethora of unique experiences across Marriott's portfolio of global brands.According to Forbes, 94% of millennials reported that they make personal improvement commitments and are willing to spend nearly twice as much as Baby Boomers on self-improvement each month. Marriott Rewards and SPG are helping people fulfill their aspirations to learn and have more authentic experiences that discover culture, history, and prominent people while traveling. In 2006, SPG recognized the trend around experiential travel when it led the industry in introducing SPG Moments. Marriott launched Marriott Rewards Moments (formerly the Experiences Marketplace) last year. Together, both platforms offered members access to more than 13,000 experiences in 2016. As the programs add one million new members every month, the Moments platforms will continue to roll out more exciting experiences only available online through Marriott Moments and SPG Moments.About Marriott RewardsMarriott International's award-winning loyalty program - Marriott Rewards - spans 18 unique and iconic global brands and over 4,300 distinctive properties. Members of Marriott Rewards(r) - which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards(r) - can link their accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest(r) at for expanded benefits including instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer across portfolios. When members book their stays on or the Marriott Mobile app, they earn loyalty points, enjoy the advantage of exclusive Member Rates, our lowest available rates, and gain an elevated stay experience with free Wi-Fi, mobile check-in and checkout, and Mobile Service Requests wherever available. The hugely popular Marriott Rewards has won the Freddie Award for "Hotel Program of the Year-Americas" nine consecutive years as chosen by frequent travelers. Marriott Rewards is free to join and has no blackout dates. To enroll and for more information about the program, guests may visit. Connect with Marriott Rewards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.About Starwood Preferred GuestStarwood Preferred Guest (SPG(r)) is an innovative, award-winning frequent traveler program that unites 11 luxury and distinctive hotel brands in more than 1,300 properties in 95 countries and territories around the world. SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty landscape when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of no blackout dates, and over the years has continued its tradition of innovation with enhancements such as Cash + Points, Your24tm, SPG Lifetimetm, SPG Moments and 4 p.m. late checkout when available. SPG also offers the opportunity for meeting and travel professionals to earn rich rewards including Starpoints and elite status through SPG Pro. SPG has an ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of today's connected global traveler by leveraging must-have mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android that utilize state-aware technology to create a more personalized hotel stay. All of this has helped SPG build a passionate member base among the world's most frequent travelers. Learn more about the #spglife at, and and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SPG members can now also link their accounts with Marriott Rewards(r) - which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards(r) - for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer at

Marriott International Wins Two Creative Data Cannes Lions

Marriott - 22 June 2017
M Live launched in 2015 at Marriott's Worldwide Headquarters and has since expanded to four locations around the globe. The command center is the touch point across all 30 of Marriott's Brands used to identify pop culture trends and create real-time content directly with guests on social channels. Based on live data and metrics, M Live bridges the digital conversation by leveraging its bespoke location-based social platform to initiate surprise and delight moments with our guests while on-property through geo-fencing technology.The Cannes Lions winning submission focused on leveraging M Live for its ongoing surprise and delight campaign with the goal of elevating guest experiences while creating lasting and meaningful travel memories. With the help of HYP3R, a Silicon Valley tech start-up specializing in geo-fencing publicly available social conversations, M Live and its Digital Content Producers analyze hundreds of publically available social posts every hour across Marriott's more than 6,100 properties. M Live filters those geo-tagged social posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Weibo into a properitary UI and gleans those insights to provide surprise and delight moments that are pinpointed and customized to elicit emotive social responses. MEC then helps Marriott to amplify those targeted social posts.Through this always-on approach, M Live is not only able to discover moments and engage with customers quickly, but is also able to identify opportunities that are distinct for each of Marriott's brands in locations around the globe. An example of such success involved a couple posting about their engagement at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville on social media. M Live quickly flagged the post via HYP3R, engaging the Gaylord brand and property teams to celebrate the couple with a champagne toast. The result was original content posted by the couple thanking the property for their hospitality."We are thrilled to be recognized by Cannes Lions with this cutting edge award that highlights the intersection of creativity and data," said Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Officer, Marriott International. "I want to congratulate Matthew Glick, Senior Director of Global Creative + Content Marketing, for his amazing leadership in this groundbreaking arena, and celebrate his team at our M Live in Bethesda, MD, as well as all of those working in our global M Live centers around the world, for all of their innovative and award-winning work."

The Ritz-Carlton Takes to the Sea - First Luxury Hotel Brand to Offer Bespoke Yacht Experiences

Marriott - 22 June 2017
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), today announced its entry into luxury yachting and cruises - bringing the award-winning luxury hotel brand's service and timeless style to sea. Created by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, in collaboration with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., The Ritz-Carlton will provide luxury hospitality service under a long-term operating agreement. Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a unique foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator. The first of three lavish cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019, and distinguishes Marriott International as the only provider of luxury accommodations both on land and at sea."The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world," said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. "This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalized service."Itineraries are being developed with an intent to combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton's luxury resorts and the casual freedom of a yachting vacation. Calling at intimate and signature destinations alike, voyages will range from seven to ten days. The first ship will cruise a wide variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Due to the intimate size of the vessel, the yacht will call at unique locations typically not accessible to large cruise ships, from Capri and Portofino to St. Barths and the old town of Cartagena. With a relaxed pace, that includes both overnight and daytime ports of call, guests will be offered a uniquely curated destination experience.The specially designed small capacity vessel will measure 190-meters, accommodate up to 298 passengers, and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. The yacht will also feature two 138 square-meter lavish duplex penthouse suites, with modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading cruise ship design firm, Tillberg Design of Sweden. The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and unparalleled level of individualized guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized; a first in the cruise industry."The Ritz-Carlton is known for its legendary service and high standards," said Douglas Prothero Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. "We are delighted to collaborate with The Ritz-Carlton as our hospitality operator in offering the most exclusive yachting experience to be found at sea in a venture that will give new meaning to curated luxury travel," continued Lars Clasen, Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.Throughout the journey, guests will indulge in a cruising style that is unparalleled in the ultra-luxury cruise and private yachting sectors. The Ritz-Carlton yachts will feature a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg; a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa; and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar, offering a wide variety of on-board entertainment. Additionally, the yacht will offer one-of-a-kind curated destination journeys through collaborations with local chefs, musicians and artists, allowing guests to experience the locations in unique and experiential ways, both onboard and ashore.Reservations will open in May 2018. The ships of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are also available for private charter. For more information, please visit

Marriott International Supports Asia's Female Leaders of the Future

Marriott - 18 June 2017
As part of its global commitment to develop and empower future women leaders, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced a partnership to support Asian University for Women (AUW). Starting this year the partnership will see over 50 Marriott volunteers serve as mentors to AUW students, and six AUW students will be given the chance to experience working with Marriott in Hong Kong and locations across south Asia, gaining personal experience of how the world's largest hospitality company operates.AUW seeks to educate a new generation of female leaders in Asia who demonstrate significant academic potential, courage and empathy for those in need and might not otherwise be able to attend university for social or economic reasons.Peggy Fang Roe, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Marriott International Asia Pacific and Executive Sponsor of the Marriott Women in Leadership Initiative, said: "As a business that prides itself on its diverse talent, we're honored to help the next generation of women leaders achieve their full potential. Having seen firsthand how the Asian University for Women transforms the lives of its students, we're thrilled to help even more young women gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed. By working together, Marriott International and AUW aim to create a world of opportunity for Asian women on a mission." See Marriott's visit to AUW in Chittagong and meet the students.Professor Nirmala Rao, Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women, added: "We are delighted to partner with Marriott International, which shares our vision for a world where all young women of promise can excel. Our students are eager to work alongside the female leaders at Marriott and learn from their experiences. Together we can help these extraordinary young women gain not only the education but the career opportunities they deserve."Marriott will also launch a global fundraising drive for AUW, targeting internal associates and partners. Marriott International properties across Asia Pacific will also educate customers in-room about AUW and its mission, inviting them to contribute towards its future." In Honor of Daughters " AUW Hong Kong Support Foundation ' s first benefit galaAs part of this fundraising drive, Marriott International supported AUW Hong Kong Support Foundation's first benefit gala, "In Honor of Daughters," at the JW Marriott Hong Kong on 13 June 2017.Gala attendees will be able to hear the inspiring stories of current and former AUW students, like Choney Dema. One of eight siblings, Choney is the first to make it to university. "Both of my parents are farmers yet they educated all of us. But in many rural parts of Bhutan, many children are not in school as their parents cannot afford school expenses and they have to help their parents at home," said Choney.Today Choney is studying public health and her dream is to improve the public health of Bhutan. Choney said: "AUW has made me strong and has taught me that I am an independent woman who can think outside the box."Daphne Tan, Vice President Development Planning/Feasibility and Owner Franchise Relations, Marriott International, Asia Pacific, has been mentoring Choney for the past six months: "It has been incredibly humbling for me to share my professional experience and personal journey with Choney, a smart and ambitious woman with a very bright future," said Tan."She reminded me of the challenges that many young women face today and their relentless courage in overcoming adversity through education."The majority of AUW students are the first in their family to attend university and nearly all students are on full scholarships.Partnership with AUW reflects Marriott's global commitment to empowering womenMarriott International's partnership with AUW reflects its broader commitment to enabling opportunities for women, both in and out of the workplace. Its related initiatives include the annual Women in Leadership conference and the East China Female Leaders Aspiration Program, both of which support the company's goal to help female associates take on leadership roles. Marriott's Market Ambassadors program also encourages associates across 11 countries in Asia Pacific to design local Women in Leadership initiatives. Marriott was named one of the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work For and has a critical mass of women in leadership roles throughout the globe.Learn more about Marriott's fundraising for the AUW Support Foundation at: UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN (AUW) is an independent, international university in Chittagong, Bangladesh seeking to educate a new generation of leaders in Asia. AUW admits students solely on the basis of merit, regardless of their family's income level, and nearly all students are on full scholarship. Currently, AUW has more than 600 students from 15 countries. AUW offers two pre-university preparatory programs called Access Academy and Pathways for Promise, as well as a three-year undergraduate program based in the liberal arts and sciences. The University is committed to graduating women leaders who will tackle their countries' social, economic, and political issues while collaborating across cultural, ethnic, and religious lines. For more information, please visit our website at

Delta Hotels(r) Doubles Growth; Global Gateway in Shanghai Leads the Way

Marriott - 18 June 2017
The Delta Hotels brand encompasses a rich Canadian history, making it a key piece of the Marriott International's premium portfolio. With 20 signed hotels in the pipeline, Marriott International is poised to grow Delta's hospitality globally to major gateway cities including Dallas, Shanghai and Seattle. Delta Hotels will open the Shanghai property later this year, while the four-star brand opened its first U.S. property last year (Delta Hotels Orlando Lake Buena Vista), and this year has added Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley, Delta Hotels Baltimore Inner Harbor, Delta Hotels Chesapeake, Delta Hotels Chicago North Shore, and Delta Hotels Fargo."Already an award-winning brand, Delta Hotels has become a development powerhouse with new presences in the U.S. and Asia in the last year that gives guests more ways to experience this exciting brand," said Gregory Durrer, Global Brand Leader, Delta Hotels. "Our model is simple. We know what our guests want and because of that Delta's intuitive design and service enables guests to focus on what's important. It is simple made perfect."Focusing on truly meaningful elements that provide its guests with a memorable and frictionless journey, Delta Hotels delivers a fresh new lodging alternative, with a clean aesthetic and a modern take on comfort. All hotels feature deluxe rooms, corner rooms and one-bedroom suites. All Delta Hotels offer multiple restaurant options, bars, a marketplace with food available to-go, meeting and event spaces, and a 24/7 fitness center with state-of-the-art cardio equipment with touch screen technology and free weights. Guests always enjoy complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.Guests can gain exclusive access to even more digital features through the Marriott Mobile app when they book direct, including mobile check-in and checkout, keyless entry and Mobile Requests to make their travel experience seamless. Marriott Rewards members will also earn points for their stay at Delta Hotels and can redeem points for hotel stays across the Marriott Rewards portfolio of brands.To learn more about Delta Hotels, please visit

Delta Hotels(r) Doubles Growth; Global Gateway in Shanghai Leads the Way

Marriott - 16 June 2017
The Delta Hotels brand encompasses a rich Canadian history, making it a key piece of the Marriott International's premium portfolio. With 20 signed hotels in the pipeline, Marriott International is poised to grow Delta's hospitality globally to major gateway cities including Dallas, Shanghai and Seattle. Delta Hotels will open the Shanghai property later this year, while the four-star brand opened its first U.S. property last year (Delta Hotels Orlando Lake Buena Vista), and this year has added Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley, Delta Hotels Baltimore Inner Harbor, Delta Hotels Chesapeake, Delta Hotels Chicago North Shore, and Delta Hotels Fargo."Already an award-winning brand, Delta Hotels has become a development powerhouse with new presences in the U.S. and Asia in the last year that gives guests more ways to experience this exciting brand," said Gregory Durrer, Global Brand Leader, Delta Hotels. "Our model is simple. We know what our guests want and because of that Delta's intuitive design and service enables guests to focus on what's important. It is simple made perfect."Focusing on truly meaningful elements that provide its guests with a memorable and frictionless journey, Delta Hotels delivers a fresh new lodging alternative, with a clean aesthetic and a modern take on comfort. All hotels feature deluxe rooms, corner rooms and one-bedroom suites. All Delta Hotels offer multiple restaurant options, bars, a marketplace with food available to-go, meeting and event spaces, and a 24/7 fitness center with state-of-the-art cardio equipment with touch screen technology and free weights. Guests always enjoy complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.Guests can gain exclusive access to even more digital features through the Marriott Mobile app when they book direct, including mobile check-in and checkout, keyless entry and Mobile Requests to make their travel experience seamless. Marriott Rewards members will also earn points for their stay at Delta Hotels and can redeem points for hotel stays across the Marriott Rewards portfolio of brands.To learn more about Delta Hotels, please visit

Level Up(grade): W Hotels Debuts Hotel Industry's First-Ever Video Game To Celebrate The Opening Of W Bellevue

Marriott - 16 June 2017
To power up the forthcoming opening of W Bellevue, W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), is taking the hotel guest experience to the next level - literally. With the brand's newest hotel set in the heart of one of the country's renowned tech hubs, W is excited to press play on the hotel industry's first ever video game, Belle the Bear, on June 15th. W fans and tech-heads alike can play their way to W Bellevue virtually on opening day, with real-life rewards for top scorers in the United States.Gamers, guests and W fans can explore the natural beauty and tech-centric city of Bellevue, Washington, with the Frogger-style Belle the Bear adventure game. Help Belle traverse landscapes, cityscapes, inside W Bellevue. Along her journey, Belle finds herself immersed in a robotic world, encountering drones and robots, all while avoiding (and occasionally embracing) cheeky roadblocks with skillful timing. Hit a cannabis leaf? Belle will turn into a gummy bear. One too many cocktails collected? Belle's commands become reversed.And what's a video game without some friendly competition? To celebrate the debut of Belle the Bear, gamers can try their luck and compete for a variety of prizes from June 15th through July 15th, 2017. The five highest scorers in the United States will win prizes, with the top scorer receiving a complimentary three-night stay in the Extreme WOW Suite at W Bellevue, roundtrip airfare for two, dinner for two at The Lakehouse, a $500 shopping spree to The Bellevue Collection, VIP tour and private wine tasting for two at Guardian Cellars and a private 75-minute seaplane tour of Western Washington, including stunning views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier."Bellevue is a gamer's city, so we thought it would be fun to tap into that energy but with a W twist," said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. "Creating Belle the Bear, a throwback game with an innovative edge, is just another example of how we are constantly looking for new ways to engage with future W fans on their own turf. Plus, it's a fun way to celebrate the opening of W Bellevue!"W Bellevue will open its doors to guests on June 15th, touting 220 guest rooms and 25 suites with modern design elements inspired by the Puget Sound's heritage of lakeside living, such as an oversized fireplace and library of pulp fiction novels. The culinary offerings at The Lakehouse also incorporate local flavor, serving vibrant, farm-inspired craft cooking from James Beard Award-winning Chef Jason Wilson. W Bellevue is the first new-build project from W Hotels to open in the United States in seven years, with many more to come.To play the game via smartphone, tablet or desktop, visit beginning June 15th. For more information on W Bellevue, visit, or join the conversation with @WBellevueHotel, @WHotels and #BelleTheBear.

Marriott Hotels rallies innovative travel startups to help shape the future of travel

Marriott - 15 June 2017
Marriott Hotels, the flagship hotel brand of Marriott International, is searching for the most innovative tech start-ups in to join the 2017 intake of its hugely popular European accelerator programme TestBED and help shape the future travel and hospitality experience. Now in its second year, the programme gives young start-ups the chance to grow through expert guidance and the opportunity to pilot their product within the Marriott Hotels portfolio in Europe.This year, Marriott Hotels, is looking for start-ups in the following areas to help innovate and inspire creative thinking around the entire guest experience:The in-room experienceTransforming the overall guest experience, in and out of the hotelHelping guests find headspace to flourish and stay inspiredAccording to industry insights, now is the time to invest in the future of travel technology. 2016 saw record investment in travel tech (CB Insights) as consumers increasingly look to digital solutions to enhance their experiences. 2016 also saw the launch of Marriott Hotels' first 'live beta' hotel in North Carolina - an incubator and testing ground to trial new concepts and technologies and gain real-time customer feedback. As a company committed to innovation, TestBED is a natural progression and enables Marriott Hotels to have a greater say in the future of travel.Interested start-ups can submit their ideas via if they are a seed or early stage start-up with developed products or services ready to go to market. The deadline for entries is Friday 7th July 2017 and entrants should be willing to pilot the product within Europe. From here, entrants will be whittled down to a shortlist of eight start-ups invited to pitch to a panel of industry experts, including Georgie Barrat, presenter of The Gadget Show, and senior Marriott figures on 22nd and 23rd August 2017.The three most promising companies will then embark on a ten-week programme in which they will pilot their product or service in a Marriott Hotel in Europe. They will also benefit from a tailored mentoring and training programme provided by industry leaders."Marriott Hotels aims to be at the forefront of innovation and TestBED provides us with the ideal testing ground to find, nurture and test cutting-edge products that have the power to transform the travel and hotel experience," said John Licence, Vice President Premium & Select Brands Europe at Marriott International."TestBED is a powerful platform and proposition that gives start-ups the invaluable opportunity to tap into our operational expertise and test their products in a live hotel environment while exposing us to the creativity and disruptive thinking that lies in the start-up community."Charles Cadbury, CEO of Dazzle, an in-room voice activated personal assistant and one of two winning innovations of TestBED 2016, commented: "We would not be where we are today without TestBED, fact. The speed at which we gained market insight and user feedback would have been very hard and time consuming to achieve had we not had the support of Marriott Hotels. Furthermore, being able to quote the interest Marriott took in Dazzle has validated Dazzle, given us credability and opened many, many doors."Marriott Hotels has spent the last few years upgrading and evolving its product and experiences to lead the future of travel. In doing so, Marriott Hotels has repeatedly engaged the creative community and developed programmes that enable entrepreneurial talent to flourish within its global operations. Marriott TestBED is the latest innovative programme to engage with this community, following CANVAS in 2015, an incubator project that challenged Marriott employees or local entrepreneurs to fill unused space in Marriott city-centre hotels.

Marriott International Unveils Plans to Double Its Luxury Footprint In Asia Pacific

Marriott - 6 June 2017
Shanghai -- Marriott International today unveiled plans to double its luxury presence in Asia Pacific by adding more than 100 luxury hotels to its current footprint of 113 luxury properties. Announced at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) conference in Shanghai, this represents over half of the company's global growth in this category.With the introduction of 11 new hotels to its luxury portfolio in Asia Pacific, 2017 is already on track to be a breakthrough year for Marriott International. China continues to contribute around half of the new hotels in the region with key cities such as Shanghai and Suzhou being flagged for new properties, while emerging luxury destinations such as Tasmania and Sri Lanka are also on the horizon. Globally, Marriott International has a total of 200 luxury hotels in its development pipeline, building its unrivalled network of eight luxury brands, which includes The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, JW Marriott, EDITION and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, from 365 landmark properties to over 500 luxury hotels."Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for Marriott International outside of North America, with the luxury segment averaging one new hotel every month this year," said Peggy Fang Roe, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Marriott International, Asia Pacific. "This region continues to see a growing numbers of high net worth individuals, which combined with dynamic economic growth, has created a strong increase in demand for luxury hotel experiences, which Marriott International will continue to meet."Each brand represents distinctive values, heritage, and personality, and this wide range offers guests the opportunity to access iconic hotspots and undiscovered gems while having endless personalised experiences to choose from. This ranges from cherry blossoms at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto; to perusing the world-class galleries at Art Basel while staying at W Hong Kong; to savouring a memorable dinner prepared by a celebrity chef at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach. Guests also benefit from best-in-class loyalty programs that include Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), Marriott Rewards, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards.The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis Further Define the Luxury LandscapeThe Ritz-Carlton, the legendary hospitality brand with 93 hotels around the world, will continue to set the standard in luxury in 2017, standing out for its exceptional culture of service and the ability to create memorable experiences for its guests. It expands its Asia Pacific resort portfolio with a debut in Langkawi, Malaysia which pays tribute to its destination with design inspired by a traditional Malaysian kampong village, set to seamlessly blend the lush rainforest and ocean. In 2018 Koh Samui will mark The Ritz-Carlton's first resort in Thailand in addition to a debut in Jiuzhaigou, a designated UNESCO Heritage Site in Southwest China, which is situated on the doorsteps of the majestic Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park.St. Regis, with 42 hotels in 19 countries today, continues to reinterpret the legacy of the original St. Regis hotel in New York for today's luxury traveler. The brand is slated to make debuts in five new destinations in 2017, including two newly-opened hotels in China. This includes The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan, which is located in the heart of the city's cultural and luxury commercial district; and The St. Regis Changsha, which marks the destination's highest hotel and includes its own helipad, as well as a pool set high above the city.Luxury Rebel W Hotels Makes New Asia-Pacific DebutsKnown to turn the conventional hotel experience upside down wherever the iconic W sign lands, W Hotels marked the new year with the opening of W Goa in India and has 50 hotels in 23 countries. The brand will continue to bring its Whatever/Whenever service philosophy, bold design, and playful luxury spirit to two new landmark properties in China this year. W Shanghai opens at the end of June on the historic Bund, where 1920s glamour meets futuristic flash, with spectacular views over the Huangpu River. In August, the picturesque historic garden city of Suzhou, with its famous tea houses and canals, inaugurates W at the ultra-modern and dynamic Jinji Lake Circle, which is close to the heart of the city's hottest clubs, trendy restaurants, and luxurious spas.The Luxury Collection Surpasses 100th Hotel Milestone with Robust 2017 PipelineWith an incredible ensemble of 102 hotels in 35 countries around the world, The Luxury Collection provides global explorers true, indigenous experiences that are impossible to replicate and continues to rapidly expand its footprint. In Singapore, the highly-anticipated opening later this year of The Duxton Club, a Luxury Collection Hotel, will showcase the Lion City's rich history and culture by readapting two pre-war colonial heritage buildings into a sophisticated new hotel.JW Marriott Continues to SoarJW Marriott, the brand inspired by its legendary namesake, is an expression of approachable, modern luxury and today includes 82 hotels and resorts today across 27 countries. In Asia Pacific, the brand debuted its first resort in Vietnam earlier this year with JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, a hidden island paradise designed by Bill Bensley, located off the southern coast. JW Marriott will also make exciting premieres in the Maldives and Jaipur, India by 2018.EDITION Further Expands its Global Influence in Asia PacificEDITION defines a new generation of luxury by balancing sophisticated design and personalized, attentive service with one-of-a-kind food, beverage and entertainment offerings that reflect the best of the cultural and social milieu of each location. Showcasing its luxury lifestyle experience with hotels in London, New York and Miami Beach, EDITION premiered The Sanya EDITION on Hainan Island in Southern China at the end of last year, marking the brand's first hotel in Asia. EDITION will continue to expand its presence globally with openings in Bangkok, Shanghai and Barcelona over the next 12 months.

Marriott International Embarks on Global Independent Hotel Expansion

Marriott - 5 June 2017
Post-Starwood acquisition, Marriott is poised to grow its collection brands by nearly 50% over the next three yearsThe Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio create the industry's most powerful independent hotel platformFrom the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) today showcased the industry's most powerful independent hotel platform, focused on offering consumers a range of uniquely local hotel experiences and owners an impactful lever to maximize returns while retaining their hotel's individuality. With the acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 2016, Marriott International now has more than 240 independent hotels under three distinctive collection brands - The Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio - and expects to grow its collection brands by nearly 50% by 2019."Marriott is now able to offer more choices than ever, especially for owners and guests who prefer an independent hotel experience," said Arne M. Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. "We doubled our portfolio of independent hotels with the acquisition of Starwood and significantly increased our global footprint. The growth projected for the next few years underscores the demand Marriott is seeing for more customized, local experiences."A Trio of Brands Primed for Global Growth Each collection brand has a clear point of view while offering owners design and programming flexibility to bring the local destination to life. The Luxury Collection, which is part of Marriott's Distinctive Luxury brand portfolio, represents hotels that define the destination and provide the full luxury experience, both in terms of the distinctive qualities of the physical hotel and property and impeccable service. Autograph Collection Hotels is part of Marriott's Premium Distinctive brand portfolio of upper upscale, full-service lifestyle hotels and offers a distinguished portfolio of independent hotels around the world that are exactly like nothing else, hand-selected for their rich character and uncommon details. Tribute Portfolio, which also sits in the Premium Distinctive brand group, offers hotels with an indie-spirit that comes to life through captivating design and vibrant social spaces. Marriott is focused on differentiating among the collections by giving each a distinct personality and curating the hotels within each portfolio to speak to a specific customer expectation.In 2017, the three brands are expected to grow 20% - which includes opening over 40 one-of-a-kind collection properties across the globe. This year's growth is expected to expand the portfolio's distribution to 50 countries and territories."With our three-tier collection strategy that includes The Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio brands, independent hoteliers have more options to leverage Marriott's powerful loyalty and distribution channels, whether through a new build or conversion hotel, depending on the location and physical product," said Tony Capuano, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Development Officer at Marriott International. "We're seeing increased demand for Marriott's collection brands given consumers' desire to stay at properties with unique stories and independent hotel owners realizing that Marriott's size and scale can drive significant value to their properties."The Preference for Independence + the Power of the Marriott Platform Through Marriott's collections brands, independent hoteliers can leverage Marriott's powerful loyalty and distribution channels to attract high-value guests while state-of-the-art technology, global negotiating power and shared services drive efficiencies. Today, Marriott's combined loyalty platform, which includes Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, leads the industry with over 100 million members."Size, scale and choice really do matter in the complicated distribution environment that we are in," noted Stephanie Linnartz, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Marriott International. "Independent hotels are an invaluable part of our portfolio, because they make our loyalty program more compelling, our sales efforts more effective and our overall hotel portfolio even more attractive to guests."The Luxury Collection Launched over 20 years ago, The Luxury Collection helped define and drive demand for independent experiences. With more than 100 hotels open in over 30 countries and territories, The Luxury Collection offers the promise of unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories and define the destination. Fans of this brand have come to expect magnificent decor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences. The Luxury Collection consists of some of the world's most iconic hotels, from The Gritti Palace in Venice to Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort in Mykonos.The brand is scheduled to debut in three countries this year, as well as open its first ski resorts - Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Cortina, Italy and Hotel Talisa, a Luxury Collection Resort in Vail, Colorado."We are proud to be a part of The Luxury Collection's prestigious portfolio, with its array of exceptional, luxury properties that appeal to sophisticated travelers worldwide," said Paul Wischermann, President, Wischermann Partners, Inc. "The success we've enjoyed over the years with our Minneapolis property Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in fact, prompted us to search for additional development opportunities nationwide. Now that The Luxury Collection is part of Marriott International, we expect it will benefit from Marriott's dedicated luxury sales team, which offers size, scale and understanding of the luxury hotel landscape."Autograph Collection Hotels Launched in 2010, Autograph Collection Hotels has been one of Marriott's fastest growing full-service brands. With nearly 120 hotels open in nearly 30 countries and territories, new openings are expected in China and Malaysia in 2017 and South Korea in 2018. The momentum in North America is especially strong with 47 signed hotels in the pipeline that are expected to open in the next few years.The brand features a wide array of hotels and resorts including French Leave Resort, a 20-room hideaway on the pink sand beaches of the Bahamas, Boscolo Prague, a 19th-century neoclassical palace and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a 3,000-room luxury high rise on the Vegas Strip."Teaming with Marriott gives our new property in downtown Chicago - Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection - the ability to reach the most discerning global traveler who seeks out one-of-a-kind hotel stays," said Scott Greenberg, President, SMASHotels. "With the power of Marriott supporting this property, we expect we'll see a meaningful improvement to the hotel's bottom line for years to come."Tribute Portfolio Launched in 2015, Tribute Portfolio has 20 open hotels, with 14 signed hotels in the pipeline and a truly global footprint spanning Europe, South America, Asia Pacific and North America.Most recently, Tribute Portfolio announced the signing and groundbreaking of The Wick hotel, located in Hudson, New York, and scheduled to open this fall. The Wick, originally built in the 1860s as a candle and soap manufacturing facility, will reemerge as a full-service boutique hotel with design details that evoke the spirit of Hudson."We are very excited that The Wick Hotel will be joining the Tribute Portfolio as we transform this Nineteenth Century Hudson building into an independent hotel," said Tom Rossi, Principal, Redburn Development. "Tribute Portfolio will help us provide our guests with a unique experience and allow us to unlock the global strength of Marriott and its award-winning loyalty programs."

Westin Hotels & Resorts Salutes the Early Rising Running Community

Marriott - 2 June 2017
Beginning on Global Running Day, Westin Pilots Reflective Gear, Adding to the Brand's Popular & Pioneering Gear Lending ProgramBethesda, MD., June 1, 2017 - In celebration of Global Running Day, Westin Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), today announced an addition to the brand's game-changing Gear Lending program, which offers guests access to New Balance(r) shoes and workout apparel during their stay for only $5.00 USD or the local currency equivalent. For the month of June, reflective wristbands and light-up sneaker clips will be included in the Gear Lending offering allowing guests to pack light, stay fit, and now, rise earlier."Travelers today are over-scheduled and always-on; in response, we are seeing people realign their priorities to put their well-being first," said Brian Povinelli, SVP and Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts. "Whether at home or on the road, often the only time guests have for themselves is the morning. Fueled by our guests' passion for running and the brand's promise to empower travelers to move well, we hope this extension to our Gear Lending program will inspire travelers to rise early and own their morning on Global Running Day and beyond."Global Study Sees a Surge in Travelers Sweating Before SunriseWith less time and more disruptors on the road, 3 in 4 people have trouble maintaining their wellness routine while traveling: sleeping less and exercising less with increased stress levels, even when on vacation. In response, guests around the globe are increasingly getting up before the sun to own their morning through well-being and regaining control of their routines on the road.A global study conducted in partnership with StudyLogic revealed that almost 40% of global respondents are most in control of their wellness routine between 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Surprisingly, nearly 25% of respondents specified that they are most in control between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. And many of those wellness routines include running: 45% of global respondents intend to run while traveling."As someone who travels throughout the world bringing to life the brand's renowned running program, I have never met a guest who wakes up early to run and regrets it," said Chris Heuisler, National RunWESTINtm Concierge. "There is magic in the early morning hours that fosters a sense of comradery, broadens your perspective and reframes your day. With a strong commitment to the running community, we are delighted to shine a new light on running for travelers and support an event that has quickly become a global phenomenon celebrated around the world."Rise & Shine: Westin Hotels & Resorts Celebrate Global Running Day around the WorldToday the brand boasts nearly 200 Run Concierges globally, who host group runs for guests and encourage runners of all levels to grab a runWESTINtm map and explore their destination. Whether it is millennials, who view fitness activities to be more social than competitive; business travelers who are shifting their preference from country clubs to running clubs; or even honeymooners, who are increasingly running together as a way to decompress, disconnect and be a tourist at the same time; Westin continues to evolve its offerings to support the running community.To celebrate Global Running Day, Westin hotels around the world will host empowering runs enlisting guests and associates to rise early and own their morning. Equipped with the brand's new reflective gear, Run Concierges will lead runners through the scenic routes of cities, along beachfronts and amid rural landscapes to experience sunrise through Westin's well-being lens.In "the City that Never Sleeps," guests and locals will hit the pavement before Manhattan wakes up with a run beginning at The Westin New York at Times Square, along the scenic Westside Highway and culminating with a fresh and refueling breakfast downtown. In Mexico, the newly built Westin Cozumel has partnered with New Balance Ambassador and Olympic Medalist Ismael Hernandez to lead an inspiring morning run along the coastal beach town; while in Germany, The Westin Hamburg has partnered with Mourad Bekakcha, the fastest runner in the region, to run and train with travelers along the waterfront of the famed port city.Many Westin hotels around the world will join the celebration in markets including: Austin, Beijing, Boston, Costa Rica, Cairo, Cape Town, Vancouver and Jakarta among others.Brand Campaign Challenges Travelers: "Will You Get Up, or Will You Rise?"This initiative follows on the heels of the brand's launch of its new multi-million-dollar campaign, Let's Rise, which takes on the disruptions, distractions and unpredictability of travel while empowering travelers to embrace well-being as a way to regain control of their routines and be their best while on the road.Because morning is the first and best opportunity to take control of the day ahead, the campaign uses morning light as a consistent creative device to speak to the potential that the morning holds. Overall, the campaign calls consumers to answer a simple question, "Will you get up, or will you rise?" The Let's Rise mantra will continue to serve as an anchor for the wellness programs and partnerships that roll out for guests and associates throughout the year.To learn more about Westin and its fitness offerings visit or

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) - One of Marriott International's Loyalty Programs -- Further Elevates The Member Experience Through Mobile Check-In

Marriott - 1 June 2017
Marriott first launched mobile check-in, checkout and room ready alerts in 2013. It is now available at all hotels that were in the Marriott portfolio before the company's acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.* Marriott is now beginning to offer these convenient app features for SPG members checking in at Westin, Sheraton, St Regis, Four Points, Le Meridien, Tribute Portfolio and The Luxury Collection hotels. Enhancing and personalizing guests mobile experience is a focus for Marriott as more than half of smartphone owners use their devices for travel-related activities.**"Mobile check-in is incredibly popular among our Marriott Rewards members with more than 200,000 check-ins occurring each week and that's why we wanted to extend this convenient app feature to SPG members as well," said David Flueck, Senior Vice President for Global Loyalty, Marriott International. "Mobile check-in is another example of how we are taking the best of our loyalty programs to make the travel experiences for all of our 100 million members even better, with unmatched benefits and services rolled out at scale."DownloadStarwood Preferred Guest (SPG) - One of Marriott International's Loyalty Programs --- Further Elevates The Member Experience Through Mobile Check-InFor SPG, its mobile journey began with SPG Keyless - the industry's first mobile keyless entry system which is now available at all Aloft, Element & W hotels. The convenience of using your mobile device as your room key is also coming to 500 hotels this year participating in the Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs. There will be no change for SPG members checking-in to Aloft, Element & W hotels offering SPG Keyless.The new mobile check-in feature is available exclusively for members who have downloaded the SPG mobile app and booked their stays directly with SPG on its website or in the app. Members will receive a notification approximately 48 to 72 hours before their stay asking if they would like to check-in using the SPG app. On the day of arrival, a notification will be sent to their mobile device alerting them that their room is ready and their key is waiting for them at the front desk, and when they checkout using the SPG app, their folio will be emailed to them. With the SPG app, members can also Make A Green Choice(r) and request early check-in as well. SPG Elite members already enjoy the convenience of requesting a late check-out in the app and Platinum Elite members can choose their preferred arrival gift.The first hotels offering SPG Mobile Check-in include:* The St. Regis Aspen Resort * Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel* The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago * Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel, Virginia* The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston * Sheraton Reston Hotel, Virginia* Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel * Sheraton Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel* Le Meridien Arlington, Virginia * Sheraton Denver Tech Center Hotel* The Westin Copley Place, Boston * Sheraton Seattle Hotel* The Westin Reston Heights, Virginia * Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel* The Westin Baltimore Washington Airport * Four Points by Sheraton Seattle Airport South* The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites , los Angeles * Four Points by Sheraton Wakefield Boston Hotel & Conference Center* The Westin Washington Dulles Airport * Four Points by Sheraton Boston Logan Airport* Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina * Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle CenterThere is more to come with the SPG app, including features allowing members to further personalize their stay and greater choice and convenience in interacting with hotel associates. Next up will be the introduction of Mobile Requests in 2018, which is already available at 4,000 hotels in the Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards portfolios. Members will be able to choose from a list of the most requested services and amenities, and text directly with hotel associates before, during and after their stays to make special requests.For more information on SPG Mobile Check-In, please visit: Marriott's acquisition of Starwood last year, members of Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards - which is part of Marriott Rewards - and SPG programs have been able to link their accounts at to access unparalleled benefits such as instant status matching and unlimited points transfer between programs that can be used to unlock a plethora of unique experiences across Marriott's portfolio of global brands.*Regulations in Armenia, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Spain and Turkey allow for Mobile Check-In, but require guests to check-out with the front desk.**Google, "How people use their phones for travel" (October 2016)About Starwood Preferred GuestStarwood Preferred Guest (SPG(r)) is an innovative, award-winning frequent traveler program that unites 11 luxury and distinctive hotel brands in more than 1,300 properties in 95 countries and territories around the world. SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty landscape when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of no blackout dates, and over the years has continued its tradition of innovation with enhancements such as Cash + Points, Your24tm, SPG Lifetimetm, SPG Moments and 4 p.m. late checkout when available. SPG also offers the opportunity for meeting and travel professionals to earn rich rewards including Starpoints and elite status through SPG Pro. SPG has an ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of today's connected global traveler by leveraging must-have mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android that utilize state-aware technology to create a more personalized hotel stay. All of this has helped SPG build a passionate member base among the world's most frequent travelers. Learn more about the #spglife at, and and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SPG members can now also link their accounts with Marriott Rewards(r) - which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards(r) - for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer at Marriott RewardsMarriott International's award-winning loyalty program - Marriott Rewards - spans 18 unique and iconic global brands and over 4,500 distinctive properties. Members of Marriott Rewards(r) - which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards(r) - can link their accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest(r) at for expanded benefits including instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer across portfolios. When members book their stays on or the Marriott Mobile app, they earn loyalty points, enjoy the advantage of exclusive Member Rates, our lowest available rates, and gain an elevated stay experience with free Wi-Fi, mobile check-in and checkout, and Mobile Service Requests wherever available. The hugely popular Marriott Rewards has won the Freddie Award for "Hotel Program of the Year-Americas" nine consecutive years as chosen by frequent travelers. Marriott Rewards is free to join and has no blackout dates. To enroll and for more information about the program, guests may visit. Connect with Marriott Rewards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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