With an expanded focus on the guest experience, Marriott International recently announced that it is offering one set of unified benefits across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).
According to Marriott’s press release, members will now have access to book stays and earn or redeem points among 29 participating global brands comprising 6,500 hotels in 127 countries and territories.
However, the big part of this news is the expansion of the Moments experiential platform, which offers more than 110,000 experiences in 1,000 destinations. As highlighted in this recent SKift article, this move will allow Marriott to grow from a hotel brand to a lifestyle brand — something that Airbnb has already done with its own Experiences platform.
The guest experience moments will include such activities as classes with master chefs, backstage tours at concerts, or even — potentially — the chance to throw out the first pitch at a World Series game, according to this recent Business Insider article.
By taking this approach, Marriott is effectively aiming to provide a level of loyalty and guest experiences that are unparalleled. The goal is to provide guests with the right experience to the right guest at the right time. The challenge will be effectively using the guests’ personalized data to achieve this – and avoid sending very bespoke offerings to Courtyard by Marriott travelers.
As the Skift article points out, this new offering can re-define the role of the concierge. While many believe that it will be “the end of the concierge,” Marriott believes that Moments will augment these services by giving concierges “immense and extraordinary local knowledge”.
The goal of this shift at Marriott is to redefine the relationship with the traveler. With the unified loyalty offering, combined with rich guest experiences, it seems that the global travel brand is shaking up the industry – and the guest will ultimately benefit in the end.