Marriott Reimagines Its Mobile App To Meet The Needs Of Modern World Travelers

App puts power in the hands of Marriott Rewards members to personalize their travel experience.

BETHESDA, Md. - Feb. 7, 2017 // PRNewswire // - Based on actual hands-on guest research and feedback, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) will now offer Marriott Rewards members a dynamic mobile experience personalized for them. Today marks the launch of the newly redesigned and engaging Marriott Mobile app for iOS users in five languages, with Android coming soon. Guests will enjoy new and expanded digital features; customized travel content; simple, one-button navigation; and a new swipe-able discovery home screen.

The new Marriott Mobile app breaks the mold of typical hospitality apps, by going beyond transactions and one-size-fits-all content. For Marriott Rewards members, the new Marriott Mobile app dynamically adjusts to personalize the user's experience throughout their travel journey. Whether members are in trip planning mode, getting ready to travel, in transit, or enjoying their hotel stay, the app will display content and features based on what services members are most likely to need in that moment of their travel journey.

"Smart devices are now everyone's indispensable travel companion, as more and more travelers increasingly expect to have their needs satisfied using their mobile phone," said George Corbin, Senior Vice President of Digital, Marriott International. "Marriott is using mobile to introduce and revolutionize the next generation of customer service to travelers worldwide, delivering a far more personalized and anticipatory stay experience."

More than half of smartphone owners now use their devices for travel-related activities[i] and, according to Google, 74 percent of people have at least one travel app on their device. Therein lies the opportunity for Marriott to engage with travelers on the platforms where they are most active.

"Many people have an emotional connection with their mobile devices and apps they've downloaded. Therefore, it makes sense that we can deepen our relationship with Marriott Rewards members by delivering greater recognition, and easy access to the loyalty programs' features through our new mobile experience," said Thom Kozik, vice president of Loyalty, Marriott International. "We know some of our most loyal guests stay with us upwards of 100 nights a year. For them, along with members who stay less frequently, we can become a valuable part of their travel experience on a device they engage with 365 days a year."

Starting today, the Marriott Mobile app for IOS is available in the Apple App Store in English, Chinese, Spanish, French and German. Following this year, Android users will be able download the app in Google Play.

What's Inside the App

Extensive customer research and member feedback is driving the new mobile app experience and will continue to do so as part of Marriott's ongoing service innovation strategy.

Since Marriott became the first hotel company to offer Mobile Check-in/Checkout and Mobile Room Ready Alerts worldwide in 2014, more than 12 million members have taken advantage of it. The popular feature will now be easier to use and more powerful. For example, when members check in using the app, for the first time they will now be able to request room upgrades and receive notification it has been fulfilled before they arrive. Also for the first time, they will be able to request a late check-out in the app rather than at front desk, which is guaranteed for Gold and Platinum Elite Members.

With the app's innovative new navigation, members will find it even easier to customize their stay with Mobile Requests. Guests can use the app to chat directly with hotel staff before, during and after their stays for special requests that require personal attention, or choose from a drop-down menu of the most frequently requested services or amenities such as more towels or extra pillows. Fully 54 percent of users make their requests before they've even checked-in. Having been the first to offer Mobile Requests globally beginning in 2015, the service is currently available at more than 4,000 hotels worldwide.

With the app relaunch, Marriott is also expanding Mobile Key, rolling out to more than 500 hotels globally this year. Members who check-in using the Marriott Mobile app can choose to skip the front desk and go straight to their room, using their smartphone to open the door.

For travelers in planning mode, they will now be able to precisely narrow down their destination searches by address or point-of-interest to find the closest, most convenient hotel, and to save their favorite hotels for quicker future bookings.

Increasingly, travelers are seeking more authentic destination information from local experts whether they're choosing where to go or looking for tips for what to do once they get there. For the first time, the app will deliver curated, original content from Marriott's digital magazine, Traveler based on users' previous hotel searches or upcoming travels.

Easier Navigation

Members will engage with the app's new interface that features an innovative "one-button" ergonomic design. Inspired by observing travelers as they dashed through airports, balancing their phone in one hand and luggage in the other, the new design offers simple thumb-tap access to everything the app has to offer. In a departure from other hospitality apps, the typical "never-changing" home screen has been replaced with four dynamic, swipe-able screens triggered by what travelers may need at a specific point in their journey. For example, members leaving on their trip will see Mobile Check-in and Mobile Requests when they open the app. Whereas the app will greet members with future travels with their Marriott Rewards account information and personalized destination content from Traveler based on preferences and data.

What's Next

Marriott will launch real-time app messaging called mPlaces with travel and hotel information, recognition and offers at the right time and place for Marriott Rewards members throughout their stays. mPlaces will debut later this year by greeting members with a personal welcome when they arrive at their hotel. Over time, Marriott will add more personalized and informative content based on data and driven by beacons now installed at over 500 hotels. For example, members who typically workout while they travel would receive information about the location, hours and services of the hotel fitness facility. Other future app features will enable members to order restaurant and room service menu items delivered wherever they are, such as lounging by the pool.

The new app is bringing Marriott's fine-tuned reputation for customer service to mobile and in year's to come will engage artificial intelligence to begin testing anticipatory service.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is the world's largest hotel company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with over 6,000 properties in more than 120 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts. The company's 30 leading brands include: Bulgari®, The Ritz-Carlton® and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, St. Regis®, W®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, The Luxury Collection®, Marriott Hotels®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Renaissance® Hotels, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Tribute Portfolio™, Design Hotels™, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, Four Points® by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Aloft®, Element®, Moxy® Hotels, and Protea Hotels by Marriott®. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com and @MarriottIntl.

[i] Google, "How people use their phones for travel" (October 2016)

SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.

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