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Article by Avukile Mabombo

Making The Most Of Music In Hospitality

Marriott ·23 October 2018
There's the open road, your boot is packed and you're heading out to where the office WhatsApp group can't interrupt you: you may have spent a couple of hours curating a playlist with some choice road trip sounds, and as you turn onto the freeway, you can't help but tap along on the steering wheel. Music is a fantastic element of any great holiday, creating its own memories along with the spaces you see and the experiences you enjoy. Hotels have a special way of ensuring the holiday mood continues, too.Delivering those vacation vibesHotel groups are fully aware of the role music plays in providing a great guest experience. According to Hugh McIntyre, music has been shown to be one of the things that 18-34-year-olds value the most, and brands of all kinds are looking for innovative ways to incorporate music into their marketing plans. Larger hotel groups have adopted systems that allow for the same music to be played across their properties to give a unified branding experience, and this approach also allows those hotel groups to refine their target marketing.Music specialists Soundtrack Business recognize the value of music, but they also state that it's not simply about choosing a great playlist. They point out that in a hotel, for example, there are many different environments: there are the lobby and lounge, bars, the restaurant and the pool or spa areas. Besides this, you have different audiences - a conference crowd is different to an after-work drinks crowd, a lunch crowd or a dinner group. Sometimes your audience is just there to chill.You can seldom please all of your guests with one continuous stream of music, so how can you develop a style that works? First of all, you take into account the mood and time of day. It depends on what your guest's expectations are, for a start, and it must take into account the overall image you want your property to project.You don't expect to walk into a swanky, fine dining hotel restaurant and hear Eminem blasting over the sound system, you'd more likely want to hear something more mellow and appropriate to the occasion. Investing in the right sounds is important since you're effectively broadcasting music. Some kinds of music are timeless, but if you want to market to a younger crowd, you'll need to update what's on offer regularly.Your hotel likely offers free Wi-Fi as a matter of course, but does it provide access to playlists on streaming services? That's a great way of tapping into your guest's musical tastes.Tapping into the energy of live musicPart of a great holiday experience can be enjoying the flavor of local music, and having musicians playing at events staged in hotels can add great value for guests. Indeed, it also contributes to supporting local artists who need every opportunity they can get to hit the stage and reach new audiences. Recently, Marriott International launched Marriott Moments, a programme that offers members of its Marriott Rewards programme the opportunity to enjoy bespoke experiences. One of the first Marriott Moments in South Africa was the chance to enjoy local legends Mi Casa as they staged a private performance. Their global appeal has a way of creating that perfect mood.What's your preferred holiday vibe? It could depend on who you're with - family, friends, a loved one. Some of my favorite holiday soundtracks are filled with Sun-El Musician, PartyNextDoor, Davido, SZA and DJ Maphorisa, but I am not averse to throwing on some old school jams from TKZee, Michael Jackson or The Temptations. The point is to keep stretching your musical tastes by exploring new sounds, even as you explore new places.

Antonia Hock, Vice President of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, Named to 2019 Luxury Daily Top 25 Women to Watch List

Marriott ·17 October 2018
Luxury Daily, the world's leading luxury business publication, has named Antonia Hock, Vice President of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, to its 2019 Top 25 Women to Watch in Luxury list. Luxury Daily annually honors select women executives who show the potential to make a difference in the luxury business in the year ahead.Hock, a global expert on customer experience and the luxury experience economy, has led business units across many industries to drive award-winning innovation, double-digit sustainable growth, and exceptional customer experience throughout her career.In her current role as the head of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, Hock and her team create innovative strategies that drive competitive advantage for some of the largest brands in the world. By leveraging the best practices and processes of The Ritz-Carlton to implement talent experience transformation, architect innovative customer experience, and craft sustainability strategies, The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center is poised to drive significant impact across the luxury segment in 2019.Hock, who will continue to focus on leading the market in luxury experience innovation, expects to see emphasis on a customer journey that leverages personalization, anticipation, and creating wow moments across every channel in the year ahead.Under Hock's leadership, the Leadership Center has experienced year-over-year growth and is currently on track to expand its delivery capability on every continent in 2019.

Marriott Doubles Commitment to Youth in Europe

Marriott · 8 October 2018
Marriott International in Europe announced today that the company's goal of providing career development opportunities to young people in Europe has been doubled to reach 40,000 by 2020. This pledge to provide career and training opportunities reflects the company's ongoing commitment to 'putting people first' and follows the company's growing footprint in Europe. Today's announcement coincides with the start of Marriott's annual You Eat, We Give fundraising campaign which aims to raise EUR400,000 for youth charities across Europe in 2018 in order to support more young people into independent lives and careers.Since 2015 Marriott International in Europe has offered more than 22,000 training opportunities, in the form of work experience placements and apprenticeships, giving young people an invaluable first step into employment and exposure to an array of professional expertise and stimulating experiences. A further 10,000 young people have been hired directly into jobs with Marriott.The 2020 goal sits at the heart of Marriott's World of Opportunity initiative, an ambitious scheme to find and nurture the wealth of talent that currently lies untapped in 15-24 year olds throughout Europe. Working in partnership with The Prince's Trust in the UK and SOS Children's Villages in the rest of Europe, Marriott's World of Opportunity training courses develop both employment skills and "life skills" that help young adults from challenging backgrounds take their first step into work and independent living. This initiative supports the company's sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, and its commitment to Empower Through Opportunity."Hospitality presents so many opportunities for young people and World of Opportunity is an open door for them to gain top-quality training, confidence and invaluable life skills in a supportive and dynamic environment." said Amy McPherson, President & Managing Director, Marriott International, Europe. "That is why we are so pleased to be able to strengthen our commitment to youth employment by extending training opportunities to even more young adults in Europe."Marriott's World of Opportunity programme aims to help young people prepare to join the labour market regardless of background or level of experience. Of the more than 22,000 training opportunities already created, 63% were taken by young people who were preparing for their first job and included recent university graduates joining Marriott's Voyage programme, while 37% were taken by young people who had been unemployed or were not attending formal education programmes such as school, university or apprenticeships. In both cases the training was designed to help these young people prepare for work with core job and life skills.A major initiative that contributes to Marriott's fundraising efforts is its annual You Eat, We Give campaign that promises PS1, EUR1 or the local equivalent for every lunch and dinner served at participating properties during September and October. In 2017, the campaign achieved a total of EUR365,000 bringing the total of funds raised since it launched in 2012 to more than EUR2 million.Marriott's aim is not just to employ talent within Europe but to help equip young people with the skills and confidence to make the move into work, whatever that might be. Since 2015, it has provided young people nearly 1 million hours of work experience in more than 200 hotels across Europe.Furthermore, Marriott's commitment to youth employment extends to supporting charitable partners with cash and in-kind donations to support a variety of programmes and initiatives. Since its World of Opportunity programme launched in 2012, more than EUR2.1 million cash and EUR1 million in-kind has been donated to its charitable partners along with more than 60,000 volunteer hours.

Le Meridien Launches Scent of Summer with MALIN + GOETZ

Marriott · 3 October 2018
Paris-born Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts today introduced a new signature scent by MALIN+GOETZ exclusively for the brand, capturing the elusive sentiment of summer with a nostalgic nod to the glamorous travel of the 1960s. Aptly named LM002 for airplane tail numbers, the alluring scent will be featured in the public spaces of more than 100 Le Meridien Hotels globally and will be available to purchase as a candle beginning today."No matter where you are from or where you are traveling, the idea of summer connotes a sense of slowing down and savouring the good life - a mentality that we celebrate at our hotels year-round," said George Fleck, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing & Management, Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts. "We are delighted to continue working with MALIN + GOETZ, who share our passion to inspire travellers to explore the world in style, and think that LM002 is sure to seduce our guests' senses, beckoning them to stay with Le Meridien - whether their travels take them to Barcelona or Bora Bora, Santa Monica or Seoul.""Scent has the unique ability to evoke memories and transport us to a different time and place, which makes MALIN + GOETZ the perfect travel companion for Le Meridien," said Andrew Goetz, Co-Founder, MALIN + GOETZ. "We were inspired by a moment in time: 1969 on the French Riviera, when the sun lounges on the horizon and linen shirts flow in the balmy breeze of a late summer day; and we are delighted to have captured the brand's rich history and its light-hearted sophistication in one olfactory experience."Poised to be a distinctly memorable fragrance experience for guests, LM002 is inspired by coastal roads throughout the Mediterranean and open-air markets in the French Riviera - surrounded by Atlas cedar wood and Neroli blossoms. The new signature scent features rich notes of black amber from Saint-Tropez; musk and sandalwood bark that harken back to vintage cars that cruise along La Croisette; Caviar lime and Provence cypress that evoke an evening in Antibes; and fig, star jasmine and freesia that whisper Bientot as Summer meets Autumn. To visualize the intangible allure of the scent and its sense of time and place, Le Meridien tapped Marie Doazan, a native to the South of France, to create a series of contemporary classic illustrations, which will be featured on the brand's website, social media and more.LM002 perfectly complements the brand's new global programme entitled Au Soleil: Summer Soirees by Le Meridien, a series of events that aims to transport travellers and celebrate the effervescence of summer. Embodying the idea that the sun never sets on the jet set, these soirees will chase the sun around the globe, from Monaco to Mauritius. Soirees will occur nightly, weekly or at celebratory moments throughout the summer months in both northern and southern hemispheres, in destinations as diverse as Split and Seoul, Nice and New Orleans. Guests visiting Le Meridien hotels can expect to discover the playful glamour of the brand with refreshing rose cocktails; a modern twist to the iconic game of Backgammon; and exclusive playlists from French Bossa Nova collective Nouvelle Vague, Le Meridien's global music partner.The launch of LM002 follows on the heels of the global partnership between MALIN + GOETZ and Le Meridien Hotels to debut a global bath amenity programme, introducing a suite of premiere bath essentials in travel-friendly sizes, specifically chosen to complement any skin and hair care regimen while on the road.LM002 will retail as a 2.35oz. candle for usd $20 on www.malinandgoetz.com. For more information, please visit: https://le-meridien.marriott.com/savour/malin-goetz-amenities/.

Marriott International Expands Homesharing Pilot

Marriott · 3 October 2018
Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced the expansion of its homesharing pilot to include Paris, Rome and Lisbon in addition to London. Beginning today, travelers can choose from more than 340 properties across four European markets with the ability to earn and redeem points across Marriott's award-winning loyalty platform, including Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). This follows on the heels of a 5-month pilot initiated earlier this year in collaboration with Hostmaker, a London-based home rental sharing management company."Following the positive customer feedback from our pilot in London, we are excited to extend Tribute Portfolio Homes to new markets together with Hostmaker," said Adam Malamut, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Marriott International. "We are always innovating to meet the evolving needs of travelers, and expanding into homesharing is an opportunity to deepen relationships with our most loyal guests by delivering new experiences designed to reflect how they travel."Broadening the reach of Tribute Portfolio Homes to Paris, Rome and Lisbon, Marriott International extended its collaboration with Hostmaker, which currently operates in these European cities, to identify and curate a portfolio of homes that complements the quality, aesthetic and service values of Marriott. Homes are chosen based on their overall design, functionality and location. Having also met high quality, safety and security standards, selected properties feature 1- bedroom or more, full kitchens and in-unit laundry. Guests also have access to 24/7 support as well as an in-person welcome/check-in experience through Hostmaker.Tribute Portfolio Homes allows travelers to experience destinations with a new and local lens. Residences are as diverse as: a 3-bedroom Parisian atelier with floor-to-ceiling French doors and views of the Eiffel Tower; an impeccably designed, Italian mid-century style apartment on a charming street in Rome; a minimalist yet rustic home in the vibrant heart of Lisbon; and a bright and airy flat in London with a chef's kitchen, reading nook and multiple, well-appointed bedrooms."The introduction of Tribute Portfolio Homes into some of Europe's most celebrated cities enables us to provide travelers with an even greater choice of accommodation along with the reassurance of Marriott International's exacting design standards, world-class loyalty programs and commitment to customer service," said Belinda Pote, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Europe, Marriott International. "The London pilot complements our current hotel portfolio and drives incremental business. We look forward to expanding our homesharing offering to Paris, Rome and Lisbon."With its powerful pilot in London, Marriott International found that travelers are drawn to Tribute Portfolio Homes for the curated selection of homes, ease of booking, and service level. Some insights from the pilot include:- Staying longer: On average, guests stayed more than 2x the typical hotel length of stay- Needing more space: Most guests sought units with multiple bedrooms and were appreciative of features such as full kitchens and in-unit laundry.More than 75% of guests staying at Tribute Portfolio Homes were traveling for leisure with friends and family or extending business travel to include their friends and family; and overall, the pilot indicated that Tribute Portfolio Homes resonated with loyalty members."We are very excited to bring Hostmaker's experience of operating in Paris, Lisbon and Rome to Tribute Portfolio Homes," said Nakul Sharma, CEO and founder of Hostmaker. "These brilliant destinations were the natural next step for a European expansion, and we can't wait to welcome guests into our homes."Guests can book directly on TributePortfolioHomes.com as well as Marriott.com. Homeowners with premium homes in London, Lisbon, Paris or Rome can go to TributePortfolioHomes.com to learn about the consideration and listing process for Tribute Portfolio Homes.

Aloft Hotels And Universal Music Group Announce 'Project: Aloft Star' Americas Finalists

Marriott · 3 October 2018
Aloft Hotels, in partnership with Universal Music Group & Brands (UMGB), the brand strategy division of Universal Music Group (UMG), today announces the three finalists of the Americas chapter of the global Project: Aloft Star artist discovery competition. The competition from Marriott International's hotel brand for music lovers and music makers and the accompanying Project: Aloft Star Tour, a five-city international tour of UMG's emerging artists, is part of Marriott International's global partnership with UMG, the world leader in music-based entertainment, which has evolved to include a focus on emerging talent.After receiving a record number of entries, the finalists in this year's competition include solo artist Camden, indie pop band The Eiffels and sister duo guitar act REYNA, who will now receive individual mentoring sessions from X Ambassadors, this year's Project: Aloft Star mentors. The contestants will then perform in front of a panel of industry judges at the Project: Aloft Star Tour finale event at Aloft Austin Downtown on November 1 to compete for the coveted prize which includes:- An opportunity to record a single at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood- Mentoring from UMG's executives which will include help selecting a song to record- 500,000 Rewards points redeemable for Marriott International hotel stays and other experiencesA winner will be chosen from a combination of public votes and the panel of judges' scores, which includes representatives from UMG, Aloft Hotels and live music discovery platform Bandsintown. From today through October 22, music fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite artist at alofthotels.com.Project Aloft Star Finalists:Camden-Camden is an American piano player, singer, and songwriter within the electronic pop/soul genre. His most recent release, 'Friend' combines moody electronic pop vibes with syncopated dance rhythms. Camden, having grown up heavily influenced by jazz and soul, is currently working on new music that combines those genres with ambient electronic sounds. Camden is also noted for his innate songwriting ability which has put him in rooms with international pop artists and DJ's alike. His original single 'Grow Old With Me - Stripped Version' keeps climbing after exceeding 235,000 streams on Spotify.The Eiffels-After their spot on the Vans Warped Tour, and seeing their music featured in television shows (MTV's Are You The One?, The Only Way is Essex), and video games (Rock Band 4), The Eiffels return with the same diabolically catchy hooks and an even bigger sound.The week of its release, their debut EP was hailed by Baeble Music as an 'opening salvo that any band would dream of' and was the 15th most added record on U.S. college radio. They've since seen spins from major radio stations like Los Angeles' KROQ and KLOS, and San Diego's 91X and Z90.REYNA-Milwaukee-by-way-of-Texas sister-duo REYNA comprised of Vic Banuelos and Gaby Banuelos first appeared with their shimmering 80s inspired pop debut single 'Spill Your Colors', attracting over 20K streams in its first day. Since then REYNA has released a series of singles which have so far garnered over 3 million combined streams on Spotify to date. It wasn't long before they were opening for the likes of CHVRCHES, Death Cab for Cutie, KESHA, Coast Modern and The Naked and Famous. Featured on Billboard's 12 LGBTQ Artist to Discover During LGBTQ Pride Month and Beats 1/Apple Music Chart Show sparkling declaration that REYNA has arrived."This diverse group of finalists is the reason we developed Project: Aloft Star - to give all types of vibrant, emerging talent the platform to be recognized," said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Aloft Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands for Marriott International. "Being able to support music makers in a way that could change the trajectory of their life is what makes this year's Project: Aloft Star program truly special. What's more, the program also gives our music lover guests a moment of discovery when they travel by giving them the opportunity to get up close and personal with the next big thing in music.""We're proud to partner with Aloft Hotels on this endeavor to discover fresh new musical acts while giving our existing emerging artists the opportunity to reach new fans across the country through the Project: Aloft Star Tour. We look forward to having the opportunity to work with the Project: Aloft Star winner," said Mike Tunnicliffe, EVP Business Development & Brand Partnerships, UMG.As a truly global hotel brand, concurrent Project: Aloft Star competitions are running in Europe, the Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific.Aloft Hotels has been an incubator for emerging musical talent for a decade. Aloft Hotels are in thriving music destinations, welcoming touring musicians with special discounted artist rates, the opportunity to use the W XYZ bar as a performance space for free, and a musicians' guide featuring everything from where to dine late-night after a gig, the best nearby affordable recording studio, where to purchase guitar strings, and more to hit the right note for each stay.Project: Aloft Star TourTo inspire emerging talent to enter this year's competition, Aloft Hotels has been taking some of UMG's hottest breakthrough artists on the road, hitting some of the great music cities to host intimate music performances in the brand's signature W XYZ bars. The free performances kicked off with Years & Years in Philadelphia on June 23, and continued in four other locations, including Tank & the Bangas in New Orleans on August 9, Bea Miller in Asheville on August 21, Stanaj and Fatima Pinto in Costa Rica on September 14 and BANNKsRS in Denver on October 17. At each tour stop, fans are able to collect an exclusive custom memento poster featuring art created by New York designer and illustrator Sophia Chang.While the tour is open to everyone to join, the best way to experience it is as a member of Marriott's award-winning loyalty programs Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards. Special member benefits include artist meet and greets and destination packages, available for redemption with Starpoints and Marriott Rewards points through SPG Moments and Marriott Rewards Moments.UMG and Marriott International PartnershipSince UMG and Marriott International first started working together in 2015, the global partnership has grown to encompass Marriott's expanded portfolio and has come to life through concerts showcasing UMG's premiere talent at Marriott properties across the globe, most recently at an emerging female-led artist showcase at Aloft Austin Downtown during the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals.For further details on the Project: Aloft Star competition and tour, please visit www.alofthotels.com.

Mic Drop: W Hotels Launches Music Label

Marriott · 3 October 2018
W Records is a Natural Next Step for the Brand's Innovative Moves in the Music Industry; Emerging Global Talent Will Lay Down Tracks in W Sound Suite Recording Studios and Perform at W WAKE UP CALL Music Festivals and Hotels Around the WorldGlobal Pop R&B Rising Star and PMR/Interscope Recording Artist, Amber Mark is the First W Records Artist; W to Distribute Two Digital and Vinyl Tracks from Mark This MonthW Hotels isn't just marching to their own beat, they're debuting it. The iconic brand behind the world's first on-property music festival series (WAKE UP CALL) today announces its newest project: W Records. At its core, W Records is a record label and resource for artists selected by W Hotels and their music industry partners. From signing to release, W Records supports artists through every step of development, providing recording space, video shoot locations, mixing and mastering and finally, distribution of the new sound via live performances, streaming and vinyl production. Tracks for W Records are recorded, naturally, in W Sound Suites (the brand's signature, on-site recording studios) with four rising artists stepping up to the mic over the next year. Starting today, tracks from the first artist will be released through W Records both digitally and via limited edition runs of vinyl, offering W fans a throwback way to enjoy new/next music."Over the brand's 20-year lifespan the music industry has changed beyond recognition, and we have changed with it. Intimate live performances in our Living Rooms have evolved into weekend-long music festivals throughout our hotels. The curated soundtracks of years ago have given way to late night recording sessions in our W Sound Suites. That's because one thing remains constant: travel and the allure of a W hotel room inspiring musicians around the world," said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels. "W Records is, undoubtedly, a natural next step for W and music. It represents a complete 360-degree approach to our innovative music programming - one in which we support emerging talent, provide them a place to record, distribute their music and act as a live venue. We've accomplished each of these tasks in increments before, but now we can do it all."Production NotesW Records is supporting emerging artists, and artists on the tipping point of worldwide fame with production, distribution, a fully-produced music video and a live performance. Each artist will lay down tracks in a W Sound Suite (either W Hollywood, W Barcelona, W Bali or W Seattle) and record a cover as well as an original track. Once the tracks are mixed and mastered, W will release 500 copies of limited-edition vinyl which will be sent to DJs, tastemakers as well as music-loving SPG/Marriott Rewards Members. Each W Records artist will film a music video to accompany the release of his or her W-exclusive tracks. It will all culminate in an intimate live set for W guests and fans.Behind the MusicThe first W Records artist is R&B artist, songwriter, producer and all-around powerhouse, Amber Mark. Fans around the world can stream Mark's cover of "High On Your Love" by Kings Go Forth starting today, marking the first exclusive release from W Records. Amber Mark is kicking off the program with a live performance in her hometown of New York City at W New York - Times Square on October 10. The second track from Mark, a rework of her song "Can You Hear Me," will be released soon after. The intimate show will also premiere Mark's music video for "Can You Hear Me (Rework)" which was shot at W Montreal. Both tracks from Mark were recorded earlier this summer in the W Sound Suite at W Hollywood.W will support the passions of W Records artists beyond the booth. The entire W Records project with Amber Mark is women-led; Amber herself is producing the tracks which have been mixed/mastered by women and manufactured by a women-run vinyl production company. All W proceeds from the streaming releases of W Records tracks will be donated to a charity of each artist's choice. Amber Mark, who holds the cause of breast cancer awareness and early screenings near and dear, has chosen The Rose, whose mission it is to save lives through quality breast health services, advocacy and access to care for all. Amber chose this charity in honor of her mother, Mia Mark, who passed away from breast cancer in 2013.The Liner NotesThe W brand's longstanding relationships with music industry partners, promoters, media and influencers will help W Records artists cut through an overcrowded market. Artists will also get direct exposure to more than 110 million members of Marriott International's Rewards programs, providing a huge audience from the start. W Records is in part overseen by Giant Step, the marketing agency that has created award-winning campaigns for brands like Intel, Samsung and ABSOLUT. Like W, Giant Step has a true passion for music and is a recognized brand within the industry having worked with many notable artists over the years including Amy Winehouse, Janelle Monae, Lady Gaga and Daft Punk. The W Records team and capabilities are similar to a small but powerful independent label. W Records is supported by both in-house and music-centric PR teams between THINK PR (W brand) and Grandstand Media (artists), non-commercial radio promotion from Co-Sign (artists), plus Giant Step's marketing team adding DJ, tastemaker and influencer marketing to the program's scope. Global distribution is provided by AWAL (Tom Misch, 3LAU) which connects W Records with audiences through top streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Deezer. This combination of a nimble label team with the marketing power of W Hotels and Marriott International creates a unique and exciting prospect for the artists working with W Records to amplify their sound on a global scale.Stay tuned for the next artist announcement from W Records. In the meantime, please visit W Hotels online to learn more about W and music, and follow along on social using #WRECORDS @WHotels. To book your own recording session at a W Sound Suite, visit: W Bali, W Barcelona, W Hollywood, W Seattle.

Marriott International reveals Robust Expansion Plans across Africa: Expects to Increase Portfolio by 50 Percent with over 200 Hotels and 38,000 Rooms by 2023

Marriott · 1 October 2018
Marriott International's planned growth reinforces its commitment to Africa and underscores the substantial emphasis that countries across Africa are placing on the travel and tourism sector. The company estimates that the five new projects signed will drive investment of over $250 million by the property owners and will generate substantial economic activity"Marriott International's acquisition of Protea Hotels followed by the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has given an impetus to our organic growth on the continent. Today we are seeing strong owner interest in our brands, backed by our combined loyalty program, the collective strength of our global platform and our highly-experienced, local teams," said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. "African economies have sustained unprecedented rates of growth, which have mainly been driven by a strong domestic demand, improved macroeconomic management and increased political stability. The continent is still under capacity as far as branded hotel supply is concerned, presenting us with a fantastic opportunity to grow our brands and enhance our footprint," he added.Today, Marriott International is present in 21 countries on the African continent: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. The company is set to expand into new markets including Benin, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mozambique and Senegal.Conversion strategy spurs growthMarriott International continues to see increased interest from owners looking to maximize the value of their assets quickly, with many conversion opportunities across Africa. "The increasing demand for conversion deals from new and existing partners is a strong reflection of Marriott International's powerful network, loyal customer base and commitment to deliver value for owners," said Kyriakidis. "We've developed a conversion-friendly strategy, which allows us to deliver value to our partners through a flexible, cost-efficient process that yields almost immediate results. That strategy gives our partners access to world-class reservation systems and our loyalty program."Recent conversions to the company's brands include Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi, Hurlingham, Four Points by Sheraton Arusha, The Arusha Hotel, Tanzania and the iconic Mena House, Cairo which joined the Marriott Hotels and Resorts global brand portfolio earlier this year.Amongst new conversion deals, Marriott International has signed the Marriott Marrakech Hotel in Morocco. With over 360 rooms, the hotel is slated to be rebranded in 2020.Select-Service brands in high demandMarriott International's select-service brands, including Four Points by Sheraton, Protea Hotels by Marriott and AC Hotels by Marriott, are experiencing unprecedented demand with vigorous expansion in both mature and emerging markets.Marriott International has signed two new hotels under the Protea Hotels by Marriott brand including Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport, Ghana and Protea Hotel by Marriott Nairobi, Kenya. Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra Kotoka Airport is planned to be a 200-room hotel strategically located in the prestigious airport residential area of Accra offering a restaurant, a lobby bar and lounge, small conference and meeting facilities, an air crew lounge, a gym and a roof-top pool bar and lounge with uninterrupted views of the city. Protea Hotel by Marriott Nairobi will be located approximately 5 km from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Mombasa Road. Expected to open in 2021, the 250-room hotel will include a restaurant, a bar, a fitness center, a pool and 600 square meters of meeting space. Earlier this year, Marriott International signed Protea Hotel by Marriott Pretoria Loftus Park, South Africa, which is slated to open later this year.The company also signed Four Points by Sheraton Nampula, Mozambique, which will be its first hotel in the country. The hotel, expected to open in 2023, is part of a mixed-use development comprised of a shopping center, apartments, residential homes, a hospital, offices and the hotel. The 185-room property includes 100 hotel rooms and 85 extended stay units, food and beverage facilities, conferencing facilities, a fitness center and a pool. Later this year, Marriott International will debut the AC by Marriott brand into Africa with the opening of the 188-room AC by Marriott Cape Town, Waterfront, conveniently located just minutes away from the buzzing Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and just a 25-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport. The company has also signed its second AC by Marriott hotel in Africa, AC by Marriott Umhlanga Ridge, Kwazulu Natal, Durban. The 205-room hotel will be a part of a mixed-use development comprised of offices and high-end residential apartments and boasts dramatic views of the Indian Ocean. Slated to open in 2023, the hotel is within easy access from major highways and in close proximity to the King Shaka International Airport.The company expects to introduce some of its other well-known select-service brands like Aloft Hotels, Element, Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott with hotels already under development. It is also looking for opportunities to bring Fairfield by Marriott to the continent.Speaking on the increased interest in mixed-use development projects, Kyriakidis said, "As cities evolve and grow into flourishing urban centers, we will continue to see a lot of activity in this space. An international hotel brand can bring cachet to a project that positions it significantly above its peers. Our portfolio of diverse brands lends itself to grow in all markets providing developers the flexibility and choice to identify the right brand for the right location. We believe this also provides an incredible opportunity to develop branded residences with our luxury brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and W Hotels and we are actively pursuing this. Today our brands account for nearly 60 percent of the global hospitality-branded residences market.""Africa is a very compelling story for us. With our history on the continent, our footprint and strong pipeline, a diverse portfolio of brands and a robust management infrastructure, we believe that we enjoy the trust and the confidence of Africa's hotel development community," he added.Marriott International is enjoying a strong year of new hotel openings in Africa, which includes its first hotel in Mali - Sheraton Bamako - as well as the first Marriott Hotel in Accra. The company also debuted the Protea Hotel by Marriott brand in North Africa with the opening of Protea Hotel by Marriott Constantine.

Moxy Hotels Slated to Energize Select-Service Segment in the Caribbean and Latin America Region

Marriott ·26 September 2018
With four approved hotel deals added to Marriott International's development pipeline, free-spirited Moxy Hotels brand is expected to make its debut in the Caribbean and Latin America region in 2020Moxy Hotels will host a pop-up experience at SAHIC South America in Colombia, the premier Latin American hospitality and tourism investment conferenceMarriott International's select-service pipeline includes more than 50 signed properties in the Caribbean and Latin America regionMoxy Hotels, a playful and vibrant hotel brand for the next generation of travelers, is set to debut in the Caribbean and Latin America region with plans to expand into four established destinations in 2020. The rapid and robust expansion of new brands such as Moxy Hotels into the region strengthens Marriott International's select-service tier while offering travelers a more diverse range of experiences at affordable price points.Four Moxy Hotels projects were recently approved in the Caribbean, Central America and South America, with the 165-room Moxy in Medellin, Colombia signed just last week. In anticipation of its rapid expansion throughout the region, Moxy Hotels is hosting a pop-up experience in Medellin at SAHIC South America 2018, the premier Latin American hospitality and tourism investment conference.The irreverent Moxy Hotels brand debuted in Europe in 2014 and has since grown to include nearly 30 operating hotels and more than 90 properties in its development pipeline globally, including four hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America region. Worldwide, Moxy Hotels is on pace to double its current portfolio by 2020. Defined by attitude rather than price point, Moxy Hotels redesigns the traditional affordable hotel experience, allowing guests to work, play and connect while surrounded by bold design and contemporary style. With its vibrant lobby spaces based around an amped-up bar experience, Instagram-worthy social zones, 24/7 self-service grab and go, ample plug-ins for personal devices and free Wi-Fi, Moxy Hotels aim to surprise budget-conscious travelers with a thoughtful, spirited and fun guest experience - giving them only what they want and nothing that they don't."Who said that affordable hotels must be cheap-looking and dull? Who said that lifestyle hotels cannot have the same, or better, investor returns than the traditional select-service brand? You just need to know what the new customer really wants and be smart on the design and execution," said Laurent de Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer, Marriott International Caribbean and Latin America. "The Moxy brand team has done an amazing job in developing an affordable guest experience with plenty of style, with expertly designed bedrooms measuring just 17 square meters and public areas where everyone wants to be. This brand is a great fit for our region - both from an economic model and consumer appeal perspective."The Caribbean and Latin America region's growth is accelerating ahead of the competition, with over 240 properties currently open and more than 110 expected to be added by the end of 2023, including more than 50 signed select-service properties. Dedicated to growing its footprint in this region, Marriott International has enhanced its local development teams, offering a regional development office to support owners and franchisees in addition to a multilingual, multicultural team in Miami, with satellite offices in Mexico City, Bogota, Santiago de Chile and Sao Paulo.For additional information please visit https://hotel-development.marriott.com/

AC Hotels By Marriott & Photographer Nigel Barker Debut Custom Gin Tonic Glass

Marriott ·26 September 2018
AC Hotels by Marriott, the modern, design-driven, lifestyle brand from Marriott International, Inc., has joined forces with renowned photographer, visionary and AC brand ambassador Nigel Barker and Bacardi to debut the brand's custom-designed Gin Tonic glass, following nearly three years of research and development. Beginning on National Gin & Tonic day Oct 19, guests of AC Hotels' 40+ hotels in North America can enjoy AC's signature Gin Tonic cocktails in a custom glass hand-blown by sculptural glass artist Adam Walmon, scientifically developed to heighten the taste, aroma and palate experience for the drinker. The glass will also be available for purchase at the hotel's on-property AC Stores in North America, and will roll out to the brand's 125+ properties globally next year.Gin & Tonic (or Gin Tonic, as it is known in Spain) has become the unofficial drink of Spain in a culture that elevates the iconic drink into an art form. As a brand known for its careful attention to every detail of the guest experience, the AC Gin Tonic glass epitomizes AC Hotels' commitment to purposeful and beautiful design. The exclusive glass, created in consultation with food and nutrition scientists, features three etched bands circling the glass which serves as a measuring guides for the gin, tonic and ice for a faultless drinking experience. The substantial glass bottom keeps the contents colder for longer, while the narrow glass minimizes the loss of carbon dioxide to keep the tonic bubbly.To accompany the signature glass, AC Hotels have partnered with Bacardi to create a unique tonic recipe using exotic ingredients from all over the world. Paired with Bombay Sapphire East Gin - a combination of unique botanicals including Thai Lemongrass and Vietnamese Black Peppercorn, and the world's first gin specifically designed to pair with tonic - the drink is presented with garnishes of fresh orange peel and a thinly-sliced lime wheel to emphasize the flavor profile."As a brand that prides itself on obsessing over the details, we are proud to unveil AC Hotels' carefully-crafted Gin Tonic glass and signature cocktail which evokes the European soul of the brand," said Benoit Racle, Senior Global Brand Director, AC Hotels by Marriott. "The artistry of Bacardi's House of Bombay Gins, in concert with the scientific expertise used to create the glass and Nigel's keen eye for design ties together to ensure our guests will enjoy a Gin Tonic like they have never experienced before.""Growing up in Europe where the combination of gin and tonic is viewed with upmost reverence, my design was inspired by a glass I bought in Biot, France at the age of 22," said Nigel Barker, AC Hotels by Marriott Brand Ambassador. "Like AC Hotels, the Gin Tonic glass is a refined elevation of the traditional, developed to enhance the guest experience."In celebration of the launch of the AC Gin Tonic glass, Barker has divulged his top tips for snapping the perfect Insta-worthy photo of your AC GT:Focus on the Details: Details matter, particularly when it comes to photography. Capturing the exact moment when the bubbles from the tonic reach the top of the glass or spending time to arrange the orange peel and lime garnish so it looks perfect, can be the difference between a good picture and a great one.Look Beyond the Expected: Don't just snap your glass head on - think about some unusual angles to make your picture intriguing. Try taking your picture from the top down, showcasing the perfect ring of the glass, or from down below looking up to play around with perspective.Find Beauty in Imperfection: I'm a big believer in the beauty of imperfection. Don't worry if your photo is a bit blurry, or if you accidentally capture something or someone in the frame that you didn't intend to - it's aspects like this that can give a photo character.To learn more about the Gin Tonic glass and AC Hotels' approach to focusing on the details, visit http://achotels.marriott.com/unpacked and watch the latest film in AC Hotels' "Unpacked" creative campaign, which focuses on the creation of the Gin Tonic glass and features Nigel Barker. The "Unpacked" creative campaign shakes up the rules of traditional hotel marketing by taking travelers on an artistic and poetic journey, going behind the scenes with the people responsible for the detail-oriented moments that define the AC Hotels experience.

Prince's Trust Teams Up with Marriott International in Canada on Youth Employment Project

Marriott ·20 September 2018
In an effort to support youth employment and growth in the future hospitality talent pool in Canada, Marriott International is proud to announce a new and exclusive collaboration with The Prince's Trust Canada to develop a hospitality-focused curriculum and internship program. The Get Into Hospitality program will initially begin, as a pilot, at four Marriott International hotels in the Greater Toronto Area: the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel, the Delta Toronto, and the Marriott Downtown Toronto Eaton Centre.Prince's Trust Canada seeks to provide work experience to disadvantaged youth that otherwise have difficulty gaining employment. Twenty unemployed Toronto youth, chosen through their affiliation with the Rexdale Women's Centre and Yonge Street Mission, will participate in two weeks of rigorous in classroom training, followed by two weeks of training within the hotels, learning about the operations while shadowing various positions in Housekeeping, Banquets, and other departments. Marriott International has committed to hiring at least 50% of the program's graduates."We recognize the importance of our role in helping prepare young people for careers in our industry. The opportunity to provide an open door for them to gain top-quality training, confidence and invaluable life skills in a supportive and dynamic environment is key," said Don Cleary President, Marriott International, Canada. "In addition to being an innovative approach to hiring, this new project provides career and training opportunities to disadvantaged youth and reflects the company's ongoing commitment to providing opportunity and 'putting people first'."On a global scale, the travel and tourism industry is forecasted to grow at a faster rate than other major industries, supporting 126 million jobs directly over the next ten years. At the same time, the demand for talent will continue to outpace talent supply. Both lack of jobs and training have historically been drivers for global youth unemployment, and the hospitality industry is uniquely able to provide support for both, through programs with organizations like Prince's Trust Canada."Because of the diversity of their operations and number of jobs available in their 229 hotels across Canada, Marriott International is an ideal partner for our growing Get Into youth employment program," said Sharon Broughton, CEO of Prince's Trust Canada. "We are thrilled to be working with Marriott International to help more young people build their confidence, overcome barriers to employment and reach their potential."This initiative supports Marriott's sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction. One of the Serve 360 priority areas is to Empower Through Opportunity by working with leading nonprofits to ensure workplace readiness and access to opportunity in the hospitality.About Prince's Trust CanadaPrince's Trust Canada is a registered charity focused on transforming lives and building sustainable communities in Canada. Established by HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince's Trust Canada works to unlock potential in three key programs - providing entrepreneurship training for veterans and transitioning Canadian Armed Forces members, helping young people build confidence through employability programs, and supporting Indigenous communities as they revitalize and protect their languages. For more information visit www.princestrust.ca or connect on Facebook or Twitter

Marriott International's Newly Unified Loyalty Program launches First Ever Promotion with Bonus Points Across All 29 Brands

Marriott ·20 September 2018
Marriott International celebrates its recently unified loyalty programs - Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), with a new points promotion that will allow members to earn bonus points across 6,700 hotels at all 29 participating brands for the very first time. "MegaBonus in More Places" offers members the broadest opportunity to earn bonus points ever. The new offer rewards members for stays of two nights or more and for exploring new brands. Plus, members are invited to play a limited time game, "29 Ways to Stay," for chances to win prizes such as bonus points and nights. Points can be redeemed for free nights, flights, exclusive experiences on Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments, and much more.MEGABONUS IN MORE PLACES:- Registration: By January 7, 2019- Earning Period: September 26, 2018 - January 31, 2019- By registering for the promotion here, Marriott Rewards and SPG members will earn 2,000 bonus points on all stays of two or more nights and 1,000 bonus points per brand, starting with their second brand.- Promotion valid at participating Marriott Rewards, SPG and Ritz-Carlton properties.- See the Official Terms & Regulations for more details at com/MorePlaces.Play 29 WAYS TO STAY:- Playing Period: October 4 - November 1, 2018- "29 Ways to Stay" is a memory game with fun facts and trivia about Marriott's entire loyalty portfolio of brands. Each day, players have the chance to win instant prizes, including bonus points and nights.- By playing "29 Ways to Stay" every day members increase their chances of winning the grand prize which includes a two-night stay at each of the 29 brands participating in Marriott's loyalty programs.- See the Official Rules* at com/29Ways.Under the recently unified loyalty programs, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and SPG members can combine their accounts giving them one account number, one elite night and points balances to travel all over the world further, faster and easier than ever before. Together, the unified programs are richer and packed with new member benefits. Members can seamlessly book, earn, and redeem points at all 6,700 hotels in our portfolio across all Marriott International channels, achieve Elite status faster, and more quickly earn points that can be redeemed at properties spanning 130 countries and territories. Plus, members earn on average 20 percent more points per dollar spent and have their Elite status recognized consistently at every hotel across the portfolio.In addition to redeeming points for hotel stays, all Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG members can redeem points to pursue their passions wherever they travel by choosing from a wide array of curated special experiences and having access to master classes with living legends offered exclusively on Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments. Members have access to the wide collection of nearly 120,000 irresistible experiences in 1,000 global destinations on the company's ever-expanding Moments platform. Whether it's tickets to one of the hottest shows on Broadway; a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hang out with your favorite sports team; or a cooking class with a world-famous chef, members can redeem points to participate in a bounty of unique experiences that make travel more meaningful and memorable.To enroll or learn more about Marriott Rewards and SPG, visit www.MarriottRewards.com and www.SPG.com.

Maggie Gyllenhaal Partners With Autograph Collection Hotels To Empower Emerging Female Screenwriters

Marriott ·10 September 2018
From the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival , Autograph Collection Hotels announced today Academy Award and Emmy nominated, Golden Globe award winning actress and producer Maggie Gyllenhaal as Independent Film Advisor to the brand's Indie Film Project: a multi-faceted platform designed to support the art of storytelling by shining a light on today's most-talented screenwriters, filmmakers and distributors working in independent film.Throughout her career, Maggie Gyllenhaal has worked on many independent films, from her breakout role in the 2002 romantic comedy drama, Secretary to Crazy Heart, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in 2010. She currently stars in The Deuce (HBO). She produced and starred in The Kindergarten Teacher (Netflix), which received the Directing Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will make its Canadian debut at this year's Toronto Film Festival.In her role, Gyllenhaal has evolved the Indie Film Project's Screenwriters in Residence program in which screenwriters, who share Autograph Collection Hotels' ethos of individuality and an independent spirit, are selected to take residence at the brand's hotels around the world. Gyllenhaal was personally inspired by Virginia Woolf's famed feminist 1929 essay "A Room of One's Own," which argues the importance of literal and figurative space that women writers need within a literary tradition dominated by men, stating: "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Its message of refuge evokes the same sentiment that the brand's Screenwriters in Residence program aims to give emerging screenwriters."I think the words of Virginia Woolf - written almost 90 years ago - still ring true," said Maggie Gyllenhaal. "We are at a moment, culturally, when people are hungry for stories that are emotionally true, rooted in diversity; and reflective of different voices. I am proud to support emerging female screenwriters in independent film, which has always been a place you can tell stories in an honest and authentic way."Gyllenhaal selected three powerful female screenwriters from Hollywood's buzzed-about Black List - which curates the industry's most liked yet unproduced screenplays - to spend a week at an Autograph Collection hotel of their choice, offering an inspiring space, time and unrivalled hospitality to polish an existing script or develop new material.Diversity and inclusion are themes of Sarah Jane Inwards' script, Jellyfish Summer, which won a 2017 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and earned a spot on the 2017 Black List. Originally from Minnesota and based in Los Angeles, Inwards also co-founded Applause for a Cause, a nonprofit production company in support of student feature filmmaking.Amanda Idoko is a Los Angeles-based film and television writer, currently writing on Central Park, an animated musical for Apple. She has previously written for ABC TV's Imaginary Mary, The Goldbergs, and The Mayor. Amanda was featured on the 2017 Young & Hungry List for Hollywood's Top 100 New Writers and her script Breaking News In Yuba County was featured on the 2017 Black List. Amanda is a first-generation Nigerian American who grew up in the Bronx, and a graduate of Cornell University.USC graduate Chiara Towne has written screenplays for Tanya Seghatchian (an executive producer of The Crown) and director David Fincher. She directs documentaries as well as short content for nonprofit organizations, doing much of her work for Jesse Dylan's Wondros and consulting at the United Nations. She is also associated with Somewhere Films, a production collective made up of women who specialize in directing, cinematography, editing, producing, writing and creative direction. Her most recent screenplay V.I.N. was featured on the 2017 Black List."Just as every great film begins with a great screenplay, each one of our hotels has been built with a story meant to inspire, engage and connect us," said Jennifer Connell, Vice President, Autograph Collection Hotels. "With the Indie Film Project in its third year, we have become unexpected patrons of an important industry that shares our values, and we are honored to continue fostering its talented community of independent storytellers."Autograph Collection Hotels in partnership with the Black List continues to design these retreats to be exactly like nothing else and spark inspiration for creative storytelling, whether at Hotel am Steinplatz in Berlin or El Mangroove in Costa Rica. Last year, the two brands chose screenwriters including Liz Hannah, who wrote the Oscar-nominated film The Post; Minhal Baig, April Prosser, and Christopher Salmanpour for the inaugural program. Hannah, Baig, and Prosser have all previously graced the annual Black List; Baig and Salmanpour's careers were both catalyzed after uploading their screenplays to the Black List website, which serves as a two-sided marketplace for scripted material available to actors, directors, producers, and film financiers. Watch their experiences HERE.At the Toronto Film Festival, Autograph Collection Hotels will continue its commitment to independent film, transforming the always-buzzed-about Mongrel House to shine a light on the brand's distinctive portfolio of Canadian hotels, many located in film-friendly destinations. The weekend will include hosted events celebrating Canadian filmmakers, as well as cocktails and conversation with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Franklin Leonard to celebrate the 'next class' of female screenwriters.The brand also offered Marriott loyalists special access to screenings and events during the Toronto Film Festival through its Marriott Moments platform, a collection of nearly 120,000 experiences available in more than 1,000 destinations globally.In support of sharing the art of indie film with a wider audience, and for those not on the festival circuit, Autograph Collection Hotels has introduced a dedicated digital film channel: streaming a curated selection of indie films at its hotels across the U.S. and available by connecting to the hotel's Wi-Fi and logging into http://indiefilmsatautographcollection.com via guests' laptop, tablet, smartphone or other mobile device.Visit Autograph Collection Hotels' Indie Film Project for more information.

Marriott International to Provide Personal Alert Devices for Housekeepers and Other Hotel Associates Across the US and Canada

Marriott · 6 September 2018
As part of its ongoing focus on safety, Marriott International [NASDAQ: MAR] today announced it is ramping up the deployment of alert devices for housekeepers and other on-property associates allowing them to discretely summon help if they feel harassed in any way, need quick support or spot a guest in distress.Further signaling its ongoing commitment to safety, the company will be making associate alert devices a new standard across its portfolio of more than 5,000 managed and franchised hotels in the United States and Canada and is exploring similar technology solutions to meet the needs of its global hotel portfolio and workforce. The associate alert technology rollout is projected to continue through 2020 as the company and its franchise partners fine-tune and tailor installations at individual sites ranging from high rise city properties to sprawling resorts to suburban hotels.After more than a year of field testing and modifying solutions based on input from housekeepers and safety and security experts, Marriott International and its franchise partners are expanding and accelerating the rollout of associate alert technology, including devices that can pinpoint the location of the alert issuer, which has proven effective in scenarios where rapid response is critical and in hotel settings which can be more than a million square feet in size.The move sets a high bar within the industry and was applauded by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), which today convened leaders from multiple member hotel companies committed to protecting employees as well as the millions of guests who stay in hotels each day."No one should ever be fearful doing their job, least of all associates on-property who are so vital to the success of our company and our industry," said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. "The safety of everyone at our properties is always a top priority as is deterring and combatting harassment of any kind. I'm deeply proud to say our entire industry is unified around these important goals."At testing locations to date, many housekeepers have expressed relief and described heightened peace of mind, not because they've had to use the device, but because they know they can if trouble arises."I've spoken with housekeepers who describe the feeling of walking into a guest room and not knowing what's on the other side of the door," said Erika Alexander, Chief Lodging Services Officer, The Americas, for Marriott International and a former Marriott Hotel General Manager. "Realizing they now have a device right at their fingertips is automatically empowering and it reminds them they're not alone. I hear the relief and confidence in their voices, I see it in their faces. Not only does it make them feel better, it makes their families feel better about the work environment they're in. That's why we're doing this."Marriott housekeepers echo this sentiment. "It's a big relief for the whole family. First of all, for me being on the floor late and for my husband and kids. We don't have to worry about mommy, she's never going to be in danger. She's working in a safe environment," shared Latifa E., a Marriott Housekeeper."Everybody is happy in the hotel about this change, because everybody feels more safe," said Carlos C., a Marriott Housekeeping Aid.The associate alert device puts another tool in the hands of Marriott's tens of thousands of associates and complements the company's regular safety and security training and protocols. Together, these tools collectively foster a safer environment in which associates are better able to care for each other and hotel guests."The real magic happens when it all comes together, and everybody does their part to create a safe work environment and guest experience," emphasized Alexander. "Putting people first is never going to change as a Marriott core value, but what that looks like and what tools and resources are available to us will evolve over time. In this phase, we're dialing up on safety and security."NOTE TO EDITORS: B-roll package includes:Housekeepers at work with the alert deviceClose-ups of housekeeper activating device and summoning helpSecurity action shots, including hotel security officer arriving on-scene to assist housekeeperTeam training session with head of hotel security giving product demoHousekeeper, security expert & executive soundbites

Marriott Hotels And TED Deliver Inspiring 'Women In Innovation' Salon

Marriott · 6 September 2018
Marriott Hotels invited the region's most inventive thought leaders to engage in inspiring conversations at Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield in India's tech and innovation hubMarriott International's flagship brand Marriott Hotels continues to spark creative ideas and meaningful conversations worldwide, hosting its second TED Fellows salon in Asia Pacific on September 6th at the Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield in India. The event was attended by an engaged crowd of over 200 movers and shakers including innovative entrepreneurs, Marriott Rewards loyalty members, international media and influencers as well as top business school students. Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield was chosen as the destination to host this year's Marriott TED Fellows Salon because of the city's reputation as India's hub of technology and innovation.At the event, three TED fellows shared personal and professional stories around the theme of "Women in Innovation'. The speakers included women's health advocate Zubaida Bai from India, a passionate activist for improving global maternal health. She is the creator of the simple but revolutionary 'clean birth kit' to provide safer childbirths for impoverished women in the developing world. Meanwhile, founder of 'The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project', marine biologist, whale conservationist and educator Asha de Vos shared a powerful message that whales must be protected because they play a crucial role in the health of the world's oceans. The third speaker, Trang Tran, is an agriculture entrepreneur and co-founder of Fargreen, and shared about how she's working with farmers to build sustainable, prosperous communities in her native Vietnam."We are excited to bring the next event in the TED Fellows Salon series to Bengaluru as part of our partnership with Marriott Hotels," said Shoham Arad, director of TED Fellows. "Our TED Fellows program was established in 2009 to bring together innovators and thought leaders to address some of the world's most pressing issues through the sharing of ideas and strategies. The speakers at this Marriott salon in Asia Pacific represented some of the best and brightest thinkers of their generation who are working towards making positive, meaningful and lasting change in their communities."To further strengthen Marriott Hotels' commitment to innovation - ahead of the evening TED Salon, a roundtable luncheon hosted by former award-winning Bloomberg anchor and the founder of Narramur communications agency, Angie Lau, brought together a dynamic community of nine Asian entrepreneurs to engage in thought-provoking conversations on 'Women in Innovation' and share ideas on how they're innovating in their respective fields."It was a pleasure to spark a conversation between innovative influencers and being able to share ideas on how to support Women in Innovation," said Peggy Fang Roe, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific, Marriott International. "Innovation and creativity are key to our success as a travel company. The company's flagship brand Marriott Hotels is leading the pack with brilliant partnerships exemplified by this year's TED Fellows Salon, which is a prime example of how we offer money-can't-buy experiences to our guests and loyalty members."The ongoing global partnership between Marriott Hotels and TED is now in its second year, following its launch in 2016 and has been expanded to include more exciting and innovative programming at Marriott Hotels in key destinations worldwide. Marriott Hotels is a brand that's geared towards a new generation of travelers, who continuously seek fresh inspirations and creative ideas during their own life-changing journeys around the world."Backed by 60 years of history, Marriott Hotels continues to innovate and inspire brilliance in our guests - and this TED Salon has really brought to life what the brand stands for," said Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand & Marketing Asia Pacific, Marriott International. "Marriott's salons engage with travelers around the world through its inspiring, empowering messages and we look forward to continuing this partnership in 2019 to bring these exciting experiences to more guests across Asia Pacific."In addition to last night's TED Salon in Bengaluru, there will be TED Fellows Salons held at Marriott Hotels in exciting destinations including Boston, Cairo and Athens in upcoming months. Marriott Hotels also recently launched its newest Instagram story series, #MarriottHotelsxTEDFellows, which offers viewers original, inspiring content and an inside look at their favorite idea engine. To watch the series, follow @marriotthotels on Instagram and stay tuned for content throughout the year.For more information, please visit tedtalksmarriott.com.About TEDTED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual gathering in Vancouver, Canada, its TEDWomen and TEDGlobal conferences, and at thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world, then made available, free, on TED.com and other channels. TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; Subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; and the educational initiative TED-Ed.

Marriott International Plans To Expand Its Branded Residential Portfolio By More Than 70 Percent By 2022

Marriott · 5 September 2018
Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) has announced that its branded residential portfolio is expected to grow by more than 70 percent in four years as both consumers and residential real estate developers seek homes affiliated with its brands such as Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, EDITION and W everywhere from Mexico to Malaysia and Boston to Bangkok.Marriott is the largest branded residential company in the lodging industry. With nearly 90 branded residential projects already open, the company has a pipeline of more than 60 additional signed and approved projects in locations ranging from resort destinations to gateway cities. In 2017 alone, the company signed 13 branded residential projects - setting an annual record. From gateway cities to emerging markets, Marriott's brands are flourishing where high-value real estate buyers work and play."As the number of residential condominium buyers grows globally, Marriott International's well-known brands are ready to welcome them 'home' and deliver a distinct experience," said Tony Capuano, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Development Officer, Marriott International. "We are excited to work with world-class developers to help them deliver highly desirable and successful branded residences to market."Consumer Demand Fuels GrowthFueling demand for branded residences is a confluence of consumer trends such as evolving demographics worldwide and an elevated desire to live in walkable, mixed-use communities with a rich offering of amenities and services. For buyers, owning a residence bearing one of Marriott International's luxury brands also means greater assurance that they will have quality services at the ready such as concierge assistance, housekeeping, in-room dining, spa and fitness facilities."Residential developers know that we are not just involved with creating a beautiful luxury residential project with a compelling list of amenities and services," said Capuano. "We're also laser focused on creating dynamic communities where people can enjoy a convenient lifestyle and personalize their experiences - just as they do in our hotels, which is why Marriott International expects growth in this segment to continue."Branded residences are usually part of larger, mixed-use developments that include a hotel of the same brand. But increasingly, Marriott International is seeing an uptick in signings for residential-only projects that do not involve an adjoining hotel. In May, for example, construction began on the St. Regis brand's first residential-only project in Rye, NY, and in July, Marriott International signed a contract for a second St. Regis residential-only tower in Boston.Luxury Brands Lead the WayUnderscoring the demand for the luxury lifestyle, Marriott International's Ritz-Carlton brand continues to be the company's most popular for branded residences with 35 projects open and 15 in the pipeline. St. Regis is gaining momentum with 12 open and 12 in the pipeline. By 2022, about 70 percent of the company's branded residential properties are expected to involve one of Marriott International's luxury brands.Future growth data, however, shows that this segment isn't just for luxury seekers anymore. About 30 percent of Marriott International's branded residential pipeline features premium, non-luxury brands such as Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Westin and Autograph Collection.Demand for Branded Residences Spans the WorldWith most open branded residential projects located in the United States, the company also currently operates residential projects in 17 other countries and territories and is expanding its international portfolio. By 2022, Marriott International expects to have open branded residential projects in nearly 40 countries and territories. The company plans to open 19 branded residential projects in nine countries in 2018 and 2019, including:Jordan: 79 St. Regis-branded residential units located in the heart of Amman's central business district and shopping area opened in July, alongside the new St. Regis Amman hotel expected to open early next year.Mexico: 21 branded residential units at The Solaz, A Luxury Collection Resort, in Los Cabos, Mexico, along with the 128-room hotel, expected to open this month.United States: A residential-only Ritz-Carlton project with 211 luxury residences in South Florida's Sunny Isles Beach, expected to open next year.The company opened its first branded residences in 2000 under the Ritz-Carlton brand and has been expanding ever since, especially after Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts along with its St. Regis and W brands. Since the Starwood transaction closed in 2016, Marriott International has signed nine branded residential projects involving legacy Starwood brands such as St. Regis, W and Sheraton.
Article by Avukile Mabombo

Technology: Great enabler for hospitality professionals

Marriott · 3 September 2018
It's well known that technology is only as useful as the user (and the purposes for which it is being used). The many uses of technology in business present fantastic opportunities to tap into broader markets and opportunities; it's an enabler that should be embraced, and that's the message the UNWTO is driving in this year's World Tourism Day's theme: transformative technology in tourism.Disrupting an industryTechnology isn't simply what happens inside your computer or mobile device, it governs every aspect of what we're doing, having an impact on sustainability initiatives, resource management, community empowerment and opportunity creation for SMEs. Of course, it's also providing access to remarkable industry advances via data-driven analysis and insights and, quite recently, the increasing influence of AI and the rise of the Smart Hotel Room. The benefits are immense, for both hospitality professionals and travellers on the receiving end, for whom the Visitor Experience is enhanced.The trick is to ensure that all technology enhancements are seamlessly introduced, and that they don't complicate the experience for visitors: there's no sense rolling out a complex app that only a small percentage of users will be able to fully grasp - to do so would be at the risk of alienating a large proportion of your customer base. For example, Amazon recently announced that they'd be pulling back on AI-driven apps in favour of rules-based chatbots, following feedback that their voice-based AI apps had trouble in getting to the right information when interacting with customers, while rules-based chatbots have a much higher success rate in getting from A to B. Besides the technological solutions, it's also imperative to maintain human assistants for those customers who prefer the human touch, as well as for interactions that go beyond the typical request for information.Technology's role in hospitality has meant the creation of jobs within the sector; far from replacing humans, it's provided a whole new sphere of work for designers, coders and managers, in addition to increased opportunities for jobs such as social media and community management. It allows for more direct communication with your customers, in turn, allowing you to address any shortcomings in business as well as to create tailored marketing campaigns according to customer preferences.Built to lastWhen it comes to sustainability, we're not just talking about the natural environment, the entire hospitality ecosystem must be built on sustainability principles, and tech advances allow for greater opportunities to do this, from building environmentally-friendly hotels to tapping into alternative resources such as solar power or water-friendly solutions. In addition, innovative approaches to waste disposal and recycling can go a long way towards reducing a property's carbon footprint.For SMEs that work directly with the hospitality industry as suppliers or service providers, innovative solutions can ensure that there's no interruption to the supply chain and provide flexibility so that spending is kept under control. That provides the hotel with the chance to work in more integrated fashion with local communities, so the benefits of having a hotel in a neighbourhood are evenly spread, from employment opportunities to the use of locally-produced goods and services. Resource management is a necessary function for any property, and technology allows for enhanced measurement and ordering capabilities.Ultimately, the UNWTO has quite rightly recognised the all-encompassing role of technology in driving this brave new world of hospitality, and it's essential to embrace it, find out how to use it to enable your business and speak the language of your customers, whose expectations are constantly evolving.

Stockholders of Marriott Vacations Worldwide and ILG Approve Merger

Marriott ·29 August 2018
Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: VAC) and ILG, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILG) today announced that at separate special stockholder meetings the stockholders of both companies approved proposals relating to Marriott Vacations Worldwide's acquisition of ILG. Holders of over 99 percent of Marriott Vacations Worldwide shares present and voting at the meeting voted in favor of a proposal to issue shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide common stock in connection with the transaction, and holders of over 99 percent of ILG shares present and voting at the meeting voted in favor of a proposal to approve the transaction."We are very pleased to see the support from our shareholders today, as they overwhelmingly approved our acquisition of ILG," said Stephen P. Weisz, president and chief executive officer of Marriott Vacations Worldwide. "We look forward to closing on the transaction at the end of this week and creating tremendous value for our shareholders."Craig M. Nash, ILG's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "The strong endorsement of our stockholders reaffirms our belief that this combination provides them with immediate and compelling cash value and the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the long-term growth potential of the combined company."At closing, ILG stockholders will receive 0.165 shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide common stock plus $14.75 in cash for each share of ILG common stock.As previously announced, the parties have completed the pre-merger antitrust review in the United States and Mexico. Completion of the transaction is expected to occur at 12:02 a.m., ET, on September 1, 2018, pending the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.AdvisorsMoelis and Goldman Sachs are serving as financial advisors to ILG and JP Morgan is serving as financial advisor to Marriott Vacations Worldwide. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel to ILG and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Marriott Vacations Worldwide on the transaction.About Marriott Vacations Worldwide CorporationMarriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation is a leading global pure-play vacation ownership company, offering a diverse portfolio of quality products, programs and management expertise with over 65 resorts. Its brands include Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club and Grand Residences by Marriott. Since entering the industry in 1984 as part of Marriott International, Inc., the company earned its position as a leader and innovator in vacation ownership products. The company preserves high standards of excellence in serving its customers, investors and associates while maintaining a long-term relationship with Marriott International. For more information, please visit www.marriottvacationsworldwide.com.About ILGILG is a leading provider of professionally delivered vacation experiences and the exclusive global licensee for the Hyatt, Sheraton, and Westin brands in vacation ownership. The company offers its owners, members, and guests access to an array of benefits and services, as well as world-class destinations through its international portfolio of resorts and clubs. ILG's operating businesses include Aqua-Aston Hospitality, Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Interval International, Trading Places International, Vacation Resorts International, VRI Europe, and Vistana Signature Experiences. Through its subsidiaries, ILG independently owns and manages the Hyatt Residence Club program and uses the Hyatt Vacation Ownership name and other Hyatt marks under license from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. In addition, ILG's Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc. is the exclusive provider of vacation ownership for the Sheraton and Westin brands and uses related trademarks under license from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, LLC. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, ILG has offices in 15 countries and more than 10,000 associates. For more information, visit www.ilg.com.

Westin Hotels & Resorts Announces the Appointment of Huang Xuan as New Well-being Brand Advocate of Greater China

Marriott ·24 August 2018
Westin Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, has announced the appointment of Huang Xuan as the new well-being brand advocate for Greater China. As part of his appointment, Huang Xuan will be featured in a new brand campaign video available in-room at all Westin hotels in China. The collaboration aims to further underscore the Westin brand's approach to wellness and encourage an active lifestyle, helping guests prioritize well-being even on the road.Andy Kong, Director of Brand and Marketing, Asia Pacific, Marriott International, is thrilled about the collaboration: "Westin ensures all aspects of the guest experience is designed with well-being in mind - from the iconic Heavenly Bed and Gear Lending program, to partnerships with TRX(Total Resistance Exercise)SUSPENSION TRAININGTM . As one of our well-being advocates in Asia Pacific, Huang Xuan's mantra to wellness mirrors perfectly the brand values of Westin Hotels & Resorts. Through this collaboration, we hope to inspire our guests to stay active and feel their best."Actor Huang Xuan has always had a positive public image, maintaining a healthy fitness regime around a fast-paced, demanding career. He received dance training from a young age, the experience helps him maintain a healthy workout routine and has became a way for him to relax and unwind, enabling him to take on various acting challenges in a good mental and physical state, and handle life's unexpected situations with confidence. In 2017, he won the Best Action Movie New Performer award at the Jackie Chan Action Movie Awards for his role in a crime thriller film.Huang Xuan said: "My work requires me to give it my all, physically and mentally, which means I need a healthy body and a strong mind to support me through this process. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is crucial in ensuring great performances in front of the camera. I am delighted to collaborate with the Westin brand; and hope to inspire others to lead a wholesome lifestyle. When traveling, I find it particularly important to choose a hotel where I can work out and unwind, it helps me maintain my well-being," said Huang Xuan.The collaboration between Westin and Huang Xuan includes a new brand campaign video inspired by the Move Well pillar, one of the brand's six pillars of Well-Being. It encourages guests to join Huang Xuan and get active anytime and anywhere at a Westin Hotel. From showcasing facilities, such as the well-equipped Westin WORKOUTFitness Studios to the swimming pool - facilities that encourage guests to move, Huang Xuan also presents alternative options such as doing simple stretches in rooms or even using every day amenities such as water bottles as mini weights to work out. The video also highlights some of the Westin brand's signature programs such as RunWestin that features the best route to explore the surroundings on foot; and the Gear lending program in partnership with New Balance that allows guests to pack light and stay fit. The overall thematic of the video encourages travelers to break free from physical spaces and experience an active lifestyle across every aspect of a Westin hotel stay, a fitness studio on the move.Last year, Westin introduced a global campaign called Let's Rise, taking on the distractions and unpredictability of travel and empowering people to regain control of their well-being when they need it most, while traveling. Westin aims to expand its portfolio to more destinations in China by 2022 including Haikou, Wenzhou, Qingdao, Changsha, Suzhou, Nanchang, Dalian and Nanning while also evolving its programs and partnerships, addressing how wellness is integrated into consumers' lives through the brand's Six Pillars of Well-Being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well.

Marriott International's Three Loyalty Programs Unify

Marriott ·22 August 2018
A new era is beginning for the more than 110 million members of Marriott International's award-winning loyalty programs - Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). For the first time since Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 2016, the programs now operate under one set of unified benefits and one currency spanning the entire loyalty portfolio of 29 brands and more than 6,700 participating hotels in 130 countries and territories. Members are able to seamlessly earn and redeem across the entire loyalty portfolio and achieve Elite status faster with new Elite tiers. Members can now combine their separate program accounts into one at Marriott.com or SPG.com to take advantage of everything Marriott's loyalty programs offer worldwide.Together, the unified programs are richer. Members now earn on average 20 percent more points per dollar spent and have their Elite status recognized consistently at every hotel as they indulge in the elevated benefits they've earned. Additionally, members now have the added convenience to book stays throughout the portfolio on Marriott.com, SPG.com, and the Marriott and SPG apps, or by contacting customer engagement centers."This is an exciting time for our loyalty members who now have endless inspiration to travel and experience the world to create memories that will last a lifetime," said David Flueck, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty, Marriott International. "We merged the incredible earning and redeeming power of Marriott Rewards with the phenomenal Elite benefits of SPG to create one of the richest travel loyalty programs with the most extraordinary global portfolio of hotels - from overwater bungalows, to mountainside ski resorts, to iconic urban landmarks."Earn Points and Achieve Elite Status FasterAs a result of the unified, single-currency programs, when members combine their accounts, their points balances will also combine, ending the need to transfer points between programs. For SPG members, their SPG points balance multiplied by three. All members earn 10 points for every dollar spent at all brands except Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element which earn five points per dollar spent and Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay properties which earn 2.5 points per dollar spent. In addition, for 2018, nights earned at Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels will also combine, potentially helping members achieve Elite status faster. Under the unified programs, all SPG members receive a new account number to align with the Marriott Rewards system. Members with multiple program accounts can choose to combine under their preferred account. The Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) names will continue to live on until early 2019 until combining under a new brand name.Under the unified programs, members now earn Silver Elite status after just ten nights annually, Gold Elite status after just 25 nights, Platinum Elite status after 50 nights and Platinum Premier Elite status after 75 nights. All Platinum Premier members surpassing 100 nights and $20,000 annual spend will enjoy the highest level of personalized service - the popular ambassador program - along with all the other benefits in that tier. Members who have achieved Lifetime status will continue to have their status recognized under the new Lifetime Elite tiers that will apply across the unified programs.Redeem for Free Nights EasierThe unified programs introduce a new Free Night Award chart for redemptions across the entire loyalty portfolio. Nearly 70 percent of hotels now require the same or fewer points for a free stay than before. Further, members can save 25,000 points per night by redeeming for future category eight hotels priced in category seven until 2019, including coveted all-suites properties. The new Free Night Award chart launched with standard pricing, adding off-peak and peak pricing in 2019.Earn Points and Access Benefits with Co-Brand Credit CardsWith the new programs comes an array of credit card options. In 2018, Marriott and its U.S. credit card partners JPMorgan Chase and American Express will offer new and refreshed co-branded credit cards that provide card members with more benefits across the entire loyalty portfolio. The recently launched Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card and soon-to-launch the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card launching August 23, offer valuable perks and more ways to earn points when using the cards.The new Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card offers card members six points per dollar spent at 6,700 participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels, two points per dollar spent on all other purchases, an anniversary free-night award for any property up to 35,000* points, automatic Silver Elite status and path to Gold Status when spending $35,000 on purchases each year and much more. Plus, in 2019, cardmembers will receive 15 Elite Night credits each calendar year.The new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will offer card members six points per dollar spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels, three points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and on airfare when booked directly with the airlines, and two points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Card members will also receive up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels, a free night award up to 50,000 points*, automatic Gold Elite status, a $100 fee credit for Global Entry, Priority Pass Select membership and more.Members of all three loyalty programs in Canada, Japan, The United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates can also take advantage of refreshed co-branded credit cards with world-class banking partners and new benefits offered within their respective regions.More Travel ExperiencesMarriott's loyalty programs offer members a holistic travel experience encompassing much more than hotel stays. Members have access to the wide collection of nearly 120,000 irresistible experiences in 1,000 global destinations on the company's ever-expanding Moments platform - Marriott Moments, Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments. These range from destination tours and day trips, to exclusive member-only events such as Super Fan Experiences during the Keith Urban Graffiti U World Tour, including autographed merchandise and backstage access, VIP access to sought after sporting events like the Super Bowl, music festivals like Coachella, and master classes with superstar chefs like Daniel Boulud in intimate settings.More BenefitsIn addition, other new benefits to highlight include:- All members now earn points for food and beverage, spa and other qualifying incidentals charged to their folio, rather than just the room rate.- Hotels throughout the loyalty portfolio now have no blackout dates for points redemptions.- Booking direct on any of Marriott's digital and mobile channels means members can take advantage of exclusive member-only rates and free Wi-Fi. In addition, both the Marriott and SPG apps offer mobile check-in and check-out and send members alerts when their room is ready. Members can also chat directly with hotel associates before, during, and after their stays using Mobile Requests, and use their smartphones as their room key at more than 1,000 hotels.The information above represents a summary of certain features of Marriott's unified loyalty programs and is subject to the programs full terms and conditions.To learn more about the unified programs and benefits, as well as combine accounts, please go to Marriott.com or SPG.com.

Marriott International Expands Relationship With PepsiCo

Marriott ·15 August 2018
PURCHASE, N.Y. and BETHESDA, Md. -- PepsiCo and Marriott International are pleased to announce a multiyear agreement, naming PepsiCo as the beverage provider for Marriott International's legacy brands, as well as Starwood brands acquired in 2016. The new deal is incremental to the 25+ year relationship between PepsiCo and Marriott.As a proven partner, PepsiCo will continue to support Marriott's strategic growth priorities by unlocking the food and beverage company's world-class design and content capabilities, as well as its cultural insights, culinary innovation and cutting-edge technology to elevate the overall guest experience. Further, the arrangement will advance the companies' shared vision for leaving a positive imprint on the environment through sustainability initiatives.The expanded agreement allows for PepsiCo to align strategically with Marriott's loyalty program and provide access to once-in-a-lifetime global sports and entertainment experiences to Marriott's loyalty members."Marriott has had an outstanding collaboration with PepsiCo since 1992, and it's exciting to look to future opportunities as we expand this relationship to our brands globally," said Ray Bennett, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations at Marriott International. "In addition to PepsiCo's breadth of products, we share a vision of operating responsibly and providing memorable customer experiences."In addition to curating and making a broad beverage portfolio available to meet guest needs throughout the day - including loved brands1 such as Pepsi, Aquafina, LIFEWTR, Mountain Dew, bubly, Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee, Tropicana, Lipton Iced Tea and Gatorade - the agreement will present opportunities for additional guest access to PepsiCo's food brands, such as Quaker Oats and Frito-Lay snacks, which are already found at Marriott properties."We are thrilled for the opportunity to expand our 25+ year relationship with Marriott International and extend the work we do together to the entire portfolio of properties," said Anne Fink, President, PepsiCo Global Foodservice. "In addition to making our broad food and beverage portfolio accessible to Marriott's 600 million guests across the globe each year, we are particularly excited to bring the best that PepsiCo has to offer - everything from our world-class design capabilities to our insights-driven innovation - to provide the unique, elevated experiences that Marriott properties are known for."PepsiCo has been the carbonated beverage provider for Marriott International since 1992, providing beverages at lobby markets, restaurants and bars, and via in-room dining, across 4,000 properties in North America and more than 850 hotels globally. PepsiCo's expanded reach will now include an additional 1,500 existing hotels, as well as hotels joining the Marriott portfolio during the term of the agreement.1 Beverage brands are subject to local availabilityAbout PepsiCoPepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2017, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose - our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enables PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
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A Five-Star Review

Marriott on the Move | By Bill Marriott· 7 August 2018
Forbes placed Marriott International on its The World's Most Innovative Companies list in June of this year. What an honor to be recognized. Since my parents started the company in 1927, we've never been afraid to take chances and try new things.

New Global Panel Series Invites Hotel Guests To Unpack Fresh Perspectives While On The Road

Marriott ·26 July 2018
AC Hotels by Marriott, the European-inspired lifestyle brand, has launched the global panel series, AC Unpacked: A Conversation. The program will bring together a creative class of visionaries around the world to unpack their global perspective on ideas relating to Travel, Experience, Vision and Design--founding principles of the AC Hotels brand.AC Hotels, the global brand with nearly 140 properties, known for its modern design and Spanish soul, is launching a new series called AC Unpacked: A Conversation. Premiering at the AC New York Times Square on July 24, with iterations happening monthly around the world, the series turns communal spaces into crucibles for horizon-expanding global conversations, whether you find yourself in Pamplona, Panama City or Portland."The AC guest approaches life with curiosity, seeing travel as a way to create and curate genuine connections to people, experiences, and ideas that galvanize them," said Benoit Racle, Senior Global Brand Director, AC Hotels by Marriott. "The AC Unpacked: A Conversation series is a carefully-curated program that will bring new ideas from creative visionaries all around the world to our guests and locals - providing inspiration for them in both their professional and personal lives."The inaugural event at Castell Rooftop Bar & Lounge at AC New York Times Square focused on the theme of 'Vision'. Rehan Choudhry, Founder of A Beautiful Perspective and the Life is Beautiful Festival; and Dan Barasch, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Lowline; discussed how they used vision and global thinking to see the world not as it is, but as it could be. The session was moderated by renowned photographer, visionary and AC brand ambassador Nigel Barker.Rehan Choudhry's A Beautiful Perspective combines journalism, storytelling and live experiences to get people informed, inspired and involved in the world around them. Choudhry's other project, the Life is Beautiful festival, debuted in 2013 in Las Vegas, and has since gone on to create $70 million of economic impact, attract more than 175,000 attendees and was named 'Music Festival of the Year' by Pollstar. The festival aims to encourage a "collective of dreamers" to celebrate the beauty in ourselves and in our surroundings, and year after year the festival features unforgettable headlining musicians; prominent visual artists adding installations to Downtown Las Vegas' collection of murals; and thought-provoking speakers.Dan Barasch's The Lowline is an underground park being developed underneath the streets of New York City--in the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal. The Lowline will be a one-acre park in a neighborhood where greenspace is hard to come by. The project uses innovative solar technology to capture light above ground and distribute it below, making it a space that can be used in all four seasons. Once a wild idea, the project got a big boost on Kickstarter, initially raising more than $155,000 for its development in 2012. The project promises to be the inverse of New York's High Line. Dan formerly held several strategy, operations, and marketing roles at Google; and worked in small business development within New York City government. Dan has also consulted for UNICEF in Nairobi and the 9/11 Survivors' Fund in Washington DC.Following the debut event on July 24, there are two more panel events planned at AC New York Times Square. The first is on September 6, focusing on Design, and Stephanie Mark, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of luxury fashion destination Coveteur will be among the panelists. The second is on October 11, focusing on Travel & Experiences. Similar events are also planned for locations in Europe and Latin America. All the events will be followed by an 'Ideas Exchange' cocktail hour where guests can foster connections with a global network of like-minded individuals.For more information about AC Hotels and the AC Unpacked: A Conversation series, visit: http://achotels.marriott.com/unpacked
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Promoting Women Chefs

Marriott on the Move | By Bill Marriott·26 July 2018
Bill Marriott, Arne Sorenson, and chefs Paula DaSilva, Laura Bartholomew, Jennifer O'Brien, Thais Rodriguez, and Ilkay Suuctugu Every quarter, the Marriott International Food and Beverage team pulls together a 'taste' panel with some of our top chefs and senior management.

Marriott International to Debut on Alibaba's 'Tmall Super Brand Day'

Marriott ·25 July 2018
Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced its inaugural participation in Alibaba's 'Tmall Super Brand Day' slated for 28th July 2018, the first hospitality company to do so. Tmall is Alibaba's Chinese-language e-commerce platform for brands and retailers, with access to over 500 million annual active consumers across Alibaba's China retail marketplaces.Introduced in 2015, the Tmall Super Brand Day is a campaign driven by Tmall which spotlights select brands for Chinese consumers. Each participating brand has a 24-hour period to offer unique experiences, promotions, flash sales and special offers on the Tmall storefront. Themed 'Boundless Experiences, Extraordinary Travels', Marriott International kicked off its Tmall Super Brand Day debut in an offline ceremony held at W Shanghai - The Bund today. The event was graced by International Chinese supermodel Liu Wen, who is also featured in a series of collateral to commemorate the occasion."We are incredibly excited to partner with Tmall to bring our 30 distinctive brands and global travel experiences to Chinese consumers," said Peggy Fang Roe, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Asia Pacific. "Through our joint venture with Alibaba, we have curated special offers, dining benefits and travel experiences just for Tmall members who join Marriott's loyalty program. We are delighted to share Tmall's vision of providing extraordinary experiences for sophisticated and affluent Chinese travelers."Exclusive Black Cards UnveiledAs one of the highlights of its Tmall Super Brand Day offer, Marriott International unveiled exclusive 'Black Cards'. Holders of these limited-edition cards can enjoy unique hotel packages with curated experiences across five destinations - Thailand, Japan, Maldives, UK and USA - top destinations for Chinese travelers; and five of Marriott International's luxury brands - W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and Edition. These unparalleled experiences include Broadway VIP backstage access and cast meet-and-greets, stunning private helicopter tours over the city, personal shopper with skip-the-line service at a hip shopping collective, and exclusive artisanal chocolate-making workshops. A dedicated travel consultant will be available to help with travel arrangements.Powerhouses Collaborate for Hospitality Industry's First Tmall Super Brand DayWith its digital platform and solutions expertise, the Joint Venture between Alibaba and Marriott International identified the opportunity to create the hospitality industry's first Tmall Super Brand Day. Marriott International, Tmall, and the Joint Venture team collaborated to design an innovative 7-day campaign, including the pre-sale period, inviting Tmall members to experience global travel with Marriott International's portfolio of distinct brands. The campaign includes innovative engagement opportunities, exclusive benefits, lucky draws and other extraordinary experiences.Commenting on Marriott International's debut in the Tmall Super Brand Day, Bo Liu, President of Tmall's Marketing and Operations, said, "We are pleased to welcome Marriott International for this edition of the Tmall Super Brand Day, which combines the strength of Marriott International's global portfolio of brands and unparalleled hospitality expertise together with Tmall's digital retail leadership. Our role as a gateway for international brands to reach the China market means we have to continue bringing the best of all worlds to consumers here, and enhancing their travel experiences is one part of it."Members Get More: Boundless Experiences, Extraordinary TravelsThe Joint Venture recently launched a new Marriott International storefront on Fliggy, the travel service platform of Alibaba, providing Alibaba and Marriott members access to Member Rates, double points, Post Post Pay functionality for over 1000 Marriott International hotels; and access to Li Yu certified hotels around the world.To celebrate the Tmall Super Brand Day, Marriott International will offer special promotions featuring F&B, hotel packages with local experiences and opportunities to win lucky draw prizes. Member rates of up to 10% off will also be available at select Asia Pacific properties. Promotion is only valid through 28th July 2018, 2359h (GMT+8) and for bookings on the Marriott International storefront on Fliggy.Marriott International's participation in the Tmall Super Brand Day capitalizes on Alibaba's consumer insights to target the fast-growing segment of sophisticated Chinese consumers. Along with Marriott International's strong brand portfolio and extraordinary experiences offered at each destination, the company is set to provide travelers with an unprecedented range of choices.To experience Marriott International's Tmall Super Brand Day, visit here.

Marriott International Signs Deal With Flag Luxury Group To Open A More Than $500 Million Ritz- Carlton Hotel And Residences Tower In New York City

Marriott ·24 July 2018
Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced that it has signed an agreement with luxury hospitality development firm Flag Luxury Group to bring The Ritz-Carlton brand to New York City's vibrant NoMad neighborhood, also known as North of Madison Square Park. Flag Luxury Group will develop the hotel and residences tower, which will represent a more than $500 million investment.Designed by award winning architect Rafael Vinoly, this landmark project will include both hotel accommodations and branded residences conceived of by renowned interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg. Located at Broadway and 28th Street, the hotel and residences tower will be situated in the heart of Manhattan's fast-growing center for creative and tech firms, alongside world-class retail, dining and nightlife venues.To soar over 500 feet high, the tower will provide hotel guests and residents extraordinary views of the Empire State Building and downtown Manhattan as well as direct access to a historic neighborhood recognized for its architecture, central location and dynamic culinary scene. Once the location of some of the first luxury hotels in New York, this neighborhood was the meeting place for the Gilded Age elite and, later, for music publishers and songwriters. NoMad later became known as Tin Pan Alley, source of the famed music from The Wizard of Oz. In 1913, the neighborhood was home to the infamous 69th Regiment Armory Art Show that introduced modern art to the American public, forever changing the American art scene.True to The Ritz-Carlton brand, the tower will include refined accommodations, a fine-dining restaurant, the brand's renowned Club Lounge, a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa and fitness center, and a chic rooftop bar. A large public garden and open terraces will feature greenery and trees, offering a unique element of nature in New York City. Two ballrooms will offer groups an attractive setting for corporate and social gatherings. Nearby, Madison Square Park - a public space since 1686 - will provide guests the opportunity to enjoy a full schedule of cultural, culinary and family events.The tower will include 250 hotel rooms and 16 branded residences that will feature The Ritz-Carlton's legendary service, luxurious amenities and visionary interior design. With construction already underway, the hotel and residences are expected to open in 2021.

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