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

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

First robot butler in a New York state hotel has unique focus on bringing wellness amenities to guests of The Westin Buffalo

Marriott 31 March 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Delaware North today formally introduced the Relay robot butler that is serving guests at The Westin Buffalo, the global hospitality and food service provider's new 116-room luxury lifestyle hotel at its headquarters building in downtown Buffalo, N.Y.Designed and built by Savioke, the Relay robot, which became operational at The Westin Buffalo in December, a few months after it opened, is the first to serve as a butler in a hotel in New York state, including New York City.It's also the first robot butler with a unique focus on bringing guests various wellness items to their rooms - amenities offered through the distinctive wellness programs for which the Westin brand is known.The robot delivers everything from delicious and nutritious SuperFoodsRxtm juices and other menu items from the hotel's Jake's Cafe, to running shoes as part of Westin's Gear Lending with New Balance(r) program. With the running shoes and other items, even guests who arrive without their own gear can take advantage of the state-of-the-art WestinWORKOUT(r) fitness studio at The Westin Buffalo or the RunWESTINtm program featuring jogging routes through Buffalo's distinctive neighborhoods, new waterfront and architectural treasures."Our guests have really gotten a kick out of the Relay robot and how it's programmed to ride the elevator to their room and call them to receive the items from its storage compartment," said Tom Long, general manager of The Westin Buffalo for Delaware North. "It's been successful thanks to Savioke working with Delaware North's information technology department and our front desk staff.""Delaware North places a high priority on innovation and technology, so we're proud to be on the forefront of this cutting-edge service model," said Bernard Gay, Delaware North's chief information officer. "We've integrated the robot technology to work hand-in-hand with the associates at the hotel to create a seamless experience for our guests."Relay is the first fully-autonomous delivery robot that works alongside people in busy environments such as logistics, hotels, office buildings, and high-rise apartments. Able to operate elevators, Relay is already deployed in dozens of properties where people live, work, and play. Using advanced technology to navigate in dynamic environments, around people and objects, Relay delivers items quickly, safely, and reliably - even in the most crowded locations. Since initial commercial deployment in 2014, Relay robots have made over 100,000 autonomous deliveries."We're thrilled to work with The Westin Buffalo to deploy a Relay robot at this new upscale hotel," said Savioke CEO Steve Cousins. "We're especially pleased Relay will play an important role in The Westin Buffalo's unique focus on delivering wellness items to guests."To coincide with its introduction, The Westin Buffalo has launched a social media campaign to "name" its Relay robot. The public is invited to vote via the hotel's Facebook or Twitter pages for one of four locally-inspired name finalists. As part of its new name, the robot will be described as a "Wellbot," reinforcing its commitment to serving guests of The Westin Buffalo with the wellness amenities and programs for which the Westin brand is known.

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts And DJI Partner To Launch Drone Experience Program

Marriott 7 November 2016
Hong Kong, November 7, 2016 - JW Marriott Hotel & Resorts and DJI, the world's leading drone-maker, today announced a special partnership that will launch the luxury hotel brand's first Drone Experience Program. The program will provide guests with the opportunity to experiment with DJI's innovative drone technology. Hotel guests will view the beauty of JW Marriott's properties through a new perspective, and will be able to capture and share these experiences with friends and family.As the first property to debut the Drone Experience Program, JW Marriott Zhejiang Anji will launch the initiative on November 12, 2016. DJI representatives will host on-site experience sessions for hotel guests to demonstrate how to safely operate a drone and provide essential aerial photography tips. Guests will be invited to a demonstration of the latest aerial platform such as the popular DJI Phantom 4. This 30-minute experiential program will be held every Saturday from 10am - 4pm, and guest can reserve their spot in advance with the hotel concierge.The Drone Experience Program will enable guests to capture an aerial overview of the hotel and destination by using a DJI drone with the help of a trained UAV pilot. Through the DJI Go app, they can easily share these moments on social media via live-stream to Facebook or YouTube. With its proximity to the legendary Anji Bamboo Forest, one of the most renowned natural wonders in China, JW Marriott Zhejiang Anji was selected as an ideal pilot hotel for the Drone Experience Program."Delivering an exceptional guest experience is at the heart of what we do at JW Marriott, and this exciting partnership with DJI allows us to continue transforming the way our guests capture their travel experiences," says Mike Fulkerson, Vice President of Brand Marketing, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. "Anji is a fantastic destination to pilot this cutting-edge technology and the program will help guests both learn something new and share their experiences with friends and family.""We are delighted to be partnering with JW Marriott to enrich the guest experience. DJI's aerial platforms and camera technology will allow travelers creative means of capturing and sharing their travel experience with the rest of the world. The combined geographic footprints of DJI and the JW Marriott brand will enable us to debut the program in some of the world's most desirable destinations," said Eli Morgan Harris, DJI's business development manager.
Article by Carson Booth

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is checking into your hotel

Marriott 13 October 2016
Some industries remain stubborn and resistant to change by not embracing new technology as fast as others. However, over the last few years, the hospitality industry has seen dramatic technology changes with the sudden maturing of suppliers as a result of consolidation and larger more sophisticated supplier entrants, competing hospitality business-model entrants that leverage technology as a platform, and technology strategy changes as a result of brand management company consolidations. These trends will continue to impact the industry's technology strategies for the foreseeable future. However, there is a new, more permanent check-in about to arrive.On October 4, 2016, Google embarked on a strategy to challenge Apple more directly by announcing their first smartphone to be designed and manufactured by Google: Pixel(1). Google are clearly betting that by more closely aligning hardware and software, they will be able to offer the same kind of seamless user experience that Apple provides its own users. More importantly, on the same day Google announced a strategy to leverage their vast information capacities by embedding voice-based AI within Pixel, envisioning a more intelligent natural language future for services like restaurant reservations, map directions, local points of interest, etc.This isn't exactly new - Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google's Now, have all been around for some time. While each of these respective companies have the capability to make the user voice experience seamless, natural and accurate, what separates Google's announcement from the pack is sheer footprint. Google's Android has an astonishing 87.6% mobile OS market share versus Apple's 11.7% for IOS (2). With this penetration, combined with improving voice recognition accuracy, speed and ability to manage increasingly complex natural-language capabilities, Google are positioning themselves to dominate the smartphone and mobile AI space. This pervasive strategy embeds further as Google increasingly moves into your living room with Drive, Android TV, Home, Chromecast, Daydream View, WiFi routers, etc.How will pervasive AI impact the hospitality industry?Guest knowledge - A consumer starts their guest experience even before a room is booked by shopping around different channels, seeking rates, availability and room types, and even booking the exact room for their stay. They have access to more information today than ever before in helping with the decision process. By adding AI assistance in their pockets, guests will be able to query against very specific criteria and compare results seamlessly with competitive options or while approaching the hotel or even standing at the front desk. Precursor examples of leveraging technology and inferring information exist today, for example, gaming the loyalty program upgrade policies to ensure suites are available for upper level loyalty members at check-in.Guest & associate experience - Hospitality management companies and technology vendors must consider the impact of guests wanting a rich, personalized stay experience by using familiar and increasingly sophisticated technology that is always available in their pocket. Guests prefer to use this familiar tool to leverage biometric or secured-device identification, and will also prefer it for natural language voice assistance to interact with various hotel services - from the pre-stay booking process through the in-stay experience with key-locks, room environment control, ordering pool-bar cocktails, or requesting their car to be brought around.Additionally, as consumers are now accustomed to self-service in and beyond the travel industry through kiosks and apps, there is an accelerated natural evolution with advancements in AI and robotic capabilities to directly deliver guest service in the industry. Some examples include Starwood's "Project Jetson" which pilots Siri-activated rooms (3) and the Botlr robot program at the Aloft Cupertino (4), as well as Japan's Henn-na Hotel which is almost exclusively run by robots. The challenge for the industry will be how to bridge the uncanny valley (5) of robotics in a guest service experience. These examples can provide a learning opportunity as they by-pass the phenomenon altogether as a way to start the introduction into the guest experience. In parallel, the industry is on the cusp of major transformations to be generated when guest AI start interacting with hotel AI driven by the intersection of advancements in AI, cloud data storage, natural language interpretation, and the pervasiveness of it all coming together in the mobile technology footprint.The associate experience will be greatly impacted as well. In addition to the change in the traditional roles and responsibilities that robotics will bring to hotel operations, associates that remain will naturally bring their lens of the consumer AI experience to their work tasks, tools and data. This, along with increasing personalization expectations by guests, will drive a bottom-up demand for more intelligent data and subsequent improvement of tools for the associates to use.Consider the example of evolving available consumer chat services to handle more complex voice/natural language guest requests. The immediate solution is to staff the hotel service at sufficient levels to handle and route the request with high personalization and efficiency. However, the human portion of work involved in transforming the natural language request is a major bottleneck in this process. AI presents the opportunity to enable the transformation of the request into discrete instructions consumed by next generation solutions that employ a micro-services architecture. This removes the human bottleneck and enables the redeployment of people to ensure the high quality of service standards are maintained for the guest- a more profitable process for the business.Another area to be profoundly impacted by AI will be the current state of data privacy and related legislation. As Google and others become further embedded into our daily lives, we will naturally add more personal data to our profile through increased usage. AI will mine that data and determine what artifacts are pertinent to retain and file, or discard. Single platform data mining is not inherently difficult. What is difficult is mining across multiple platforms and data repositories - think about the numerous areas where data is stored today: map POIs, music, pictures, browser favorites, etc., variously stored across Google, Apple, Facebook, private cloud storage, and other platforms. Compounding this challenge are conflicting requirements from governments to try to nationalize citizen data and storage for multi-national industries, e.g. hospitality servicing multi-national travelers. Data will be shared and stored cross-border - its naive to believe legislation will stop international personal data transfers especially when guests want similar experiences and recognition while visiting Madrid, Melbourne and Mendoza. AI is the only solution capable to meet the complexities of intelligent data aggregation on demand, while supporting anonymizing and other legislation requirements.Beyond the data privacy and legislation concerns, hotels and loyalty programs already struggle in trying to deliver a personalized experience for the guest due to the difficulty in interpreting the guest's particular stay profile. Identifying when a guest is on business or leisure, with family or without, are relatively easy observations to make. More difficult is understanding when to leverage specific information to engage the guest with a more personalized interaction, which usually requires some indication from the guest themselves as to the level of personalization that is appropriate. Today, these interactions are left to human judgement or canned technology processes. Going forward, AI will support the ability to access, codify and appropriately present more data about the guest at every touchpoint in the stay cycle. AI won't replace the human touch completely, but will better support the human or machine process by presenting more relevant information at the right time.AI is coming fast and going mobile. As stated before, some industries are traditionally stubborn and resistant to technology change, however, there are significant and natural AI opportunities presented by the hospitality industry's business model, diversity by physical geography, and data complexity. No industry is better positioned to leverage AI's ability to sift through vast amounts of data and help create a unique guest experience. A new breed of major technology companies have already embarked on leveraging the advancements of AI with many supporting the hospitality industry. Suppliers, Hotels and management companies must begin to understand this opportunity now and undertake a significant evaluation of their current technology platforms and strategies to determine readiness for AI.AI will become embedded and ubiquitous, and in the pocket of every associate and guest.Are you ready?

Travel Tech Start-Ups Can Apply to Marriott Hotels' First Accelerator Programme

Marriott 7 October 2016
Marriott Hotels in Europe is launching a unique accelerator programme to find and accelerate tech start-ups that enhance the travel and hospitality experience. The programme will give budding companies the chance to grow through expert guidance and the opportunity to pilot their product within the Marriott Hotels portfolio within Europe. Upon completion of a successful test period, Marriott Hotels could potentially offer an ongoing partnership with the start-up.As a brand that fosters creativity and ingenuity, Marriott Hotels is the ideal sponsor of a programme such as the Marriott TestBED. Two start-up companies benefit from a six-week pilot of their product or service in two European Marriott Hotels, following a pitch process. The companies will be able to use an individual hotel as a 'test bed' while receiving publicity and support from Marriott Hotels, as well as exposure at relevant events and introduction to industry leaders.The companies will also benefit from a mentoring programme including training and workshops delivered by professionals from the travel and hospitality industry as well as from leading marketing agencies to provide the knowledge and tools to promote their product.Start-ups can register their interest via MarriottTestBED.com, if they are a seed or early stage start-up with developed products or services ready to go to market. Products or services should comply with the following:Fit within the travel and hospitality sectorCan be implemented at a single hotel levelWill offer guests a useful tool to explore and discover a city or region ORHelp Marriott Hotels better understand their guests wants and needsDoes not require heavy integration into global systemsThe deadline for entries is Sunday 16 October 2016 and entrants should be willing to work within Europe. From here, a shortlist of eight start-ups will be invited to pitch to a panel of industry experts, including the Head of Innovation at AOL and senior Marriott figures, on Friday 4 November 2016. The winning two companies will then be given a few days boot-camp-style training, before piloting their product or service in a Marriott Hotel.Osama Hirzalla, Vice President Brand Marketing & eCommerce Europe at Marriott International said: "The wealth of talent and innovation lying in start-up communities is truly phenomenal and we're delighted to offer two companies the chance to launch their idea or product to a global travel market, benefit from a tailored mentor scheme, and receive feedback from actual customers, which is invaluable. The most exciting thing about Marriott TestBED is the idea that entrepreneurs can learn from us and we can learn from them: combining their agility and creativity with our tools and hospitality expertise could be a powerful force in enhancing the guest experience."Marriott Hotels has spent the last few years upgrading and evolving its product and experiences to lead the future of travel. In doing so, Marriott Hotels has repeatedly engaged the creative community and developed programmes that enable entrepreneurial talent to flourish within its global operations. Marriott TestBED is the latest innovative programme to engage with this community, following the successful launch of CANVAS in 2015, an incubator project that challenged Marriott employees or local entrepreneurs to fill unused space in Marriott city-centre hotels. More recently in September 2016, Marriott Hotels announced its partnership with TED, the non-profit devoted to ideas worth spreading. The relationship brings creatively curated TED Talks, blogs and original quotes to hotel guests worldwide. In turn, travellers staying at Marriott Hotels have access to thought-provoking and inspirational content to help jumpstart their own original, inventive thinking.For more information visit www.marriotttestbed.com.To see the terms and conditions visit http://www.marriotttestbed.com/terms-and-conditions.

Marriott International Launches M Live Europe, the Company's Fourth Global Marketing Real-Time Command Centre

Marriott 26 July 2016
Marriott International continues to lead the way in digital and social marketing innovation with the launch of the company's fourth M Live Studio. Located at Marriott's European Headquarters in London, the newest studio will serve as the epicentre for creating real-time content and generating social engagement with travellers in Europe. M Live will engage in conversations in multiple languages including French, Spanish, German, Italian and English. M Live first launched at Marriott International's headquarters in Bethesda, MD in 2015 and has since expanded to the Asia Pacific region, Caribbean and Latin America region, and now Europe. M Live empowers Marriott to interact with guests in a more personalised way and participate in one-to-one conversations on social platforms where travellers are already actively engaged. It tracks conversations, trends, global performance, marketing campaigns and brand reputation across social platforms in real-time, identifying opportunities for Marriott to engage consumers with its 19 brands and nearly 4,500 properties worldwide.Marriott International's vice president of global creative and content marketing, David Beebe, explained: "We created M Live with an understanding that real-time marketing always starts with the guest, and the best way to engage with consumers is to start a two-way conversation that is relevant to their needs and preferences as travellers."M Live is designed to engage with guests around cultural moments that are relevant to what they are already talking about on social media. "We've turned the tables from creating general content distributed to thousands of guests to listening and leveraging a single moment that's relevant and shareable between thousands of guests." Says Matthew Glick, senior director of global creative and content marketing, "Not only are we able to discover these moments to engage with consumers quickly, but also identify opportunities by brand, by discipline, by market and by channel to create memorable and shareable experiences."M Live is able to identify trending social stories around the world and quickly ascertain ways to join the conversation. A recent example saw M Live picking up a story about a New Zealand backpacker who was travelling the world with his favourite Lego figurines and documenting their adventures on social media. After connecting the dots to find @TheLegoBackpacker, Marriott was able to host The Lego Backpacker, and his real-life owner, at the AC Hotel Ciudad de Sevilla, resulting in content for the AC Hotels brand that was then amplified through Lego's social channels bringing in an additional 370,000+ social followers into the conversation."We know that the next-generation of travellers are digitally savvy, constantly connected, and are looking for a more personalised one-to-one relationship with our portfolio of brands." says Osama Hirzalla, vice president brand marketing and e-commerce, Europe. "The power of M Live Europe is that we can now engage with travellers in more regionally and culturally relevant ways that are meaningful to them."To date, M Live has created a number of successful real-time marketing efforts that have driven consumer engagement. Additionally, in partnership with HYP3R, M Live uses geo-fencing technology to uncover untagged social conversations that guests are having at Marriott properties and identifies opportunities to create a better guest experience. For example, the M Live team discovered a tweet that a guest posted from the Domes of Elounda Autograph Collection Hotel in Greece. M Live created an on-property breakfast moment and also surprised the guest with Marriott Rewards points leading him to share his excitement on Twitter and create user-generated content for the Autograph Collection brand and hotel.

Marriott International to Expand and Improve Offerings to Business Travel Professionals

Marriott 18 July 2016
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) continues to expand its offerings to business travel professionals, according to Brian King, the company's Global Officer, Brand Management & Global Sales, in a speech at the Global Business Travel Association's annual convention in Denver, Colorado, today.Marriott is an international lodging leader, with nearly 4,500 properties spanning the globe, the broadest portfolio of brands in hospitality and an industry-leading frequent traveler program - Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards - with 56 million members."Marriott International is in the midst of one of its most exciting periods ever for business travel professionals," King said. "In the coming year, we'll be unveiling scores of new luxury and lifestyle properties and significant new ballrooms worldwide, but also new guest experiences for valued, tech-savvy road warriors across our portfolio of brands."Currently, Marriott is innovating across its system with:Mobile Check-in and Check-out: Marriott International - including Marriott Hotels, the industry's first and largest brand to offer mobile services - now offers guests this high-tech check-in/ check-out option across 4,200 hotels globally. The company recently surpassed the 12-million mark for mobile check-ins and check-outs.Netflix In-Room Entertainment: An industry first, Marriott Hotels now provides guests with the ability to log onto their Netflix accounts or start a new one on in-room TV screens in more than 300 hotels globally. This is a popular option for guests who love watching "Orange is the New Black," "House of Cards" and other streaming entertainment.MeetingsImagined.com: Marriott International's visual, social and collaborative website unites meeting planners with more than 750 of its hotels. It also provides more than 4,000 images to spark the imagination, as well as tips, quizzes and trend-related articles about everything from the hottest new cocktails to the latest technology trends needed to create experiences that clients will find both inspiring and engaging.Beta Hotel: Next month, when Marriott unveils a hotel designed to test new ideas and technology, planners will be able to see Marriott's vision for next-generation meeting space and experiences. Among the concepts to be tested: An interactive pre-function space that resembles a high-end residential kitchen and a next-generation boardroom with unexpected natural light and cutting-edge touchscreen monitors.This year also marks an active period for meeting space expansion, with several high-profile projects underway worldwide. Among them:Expansion of Gaylord Hotels: Construction commenced on the new, 2-million-square-foot Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado. Once completed in late 2018, Gaylord Rockies will be the largest combined hotel and convention center in Colorado. At the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center near Washington D.C., construction commenced on a freestanding, 23,000-square-foot ballroom overlooking the Potomac River, set to open in July 2017. At the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center near Dallas, work began on a $120 million expansion that will add 86,000 square feet of meeting space including a new ballroom in 2019More Luxury and Lifestyle Hotels in More Destinations: Marriott plans to open more than 100 luxury and lifestyle hotels in the next 12 months, with the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand arriving in new locations such as Langkawi, Malaysia, known for its white-sand beaches. In the next year, customers will also see the global expansion of AC by Marriott in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Germany; the arrival of three new JW Marriott locations in China, and new locations for the sassy and fresh Moxy brand sprouting up all over Europe.

Marriott International Launches Third M Live Studio, the Company's Global Marketing Real-Time Command Center

Marriott 1 May 2016
everything from trending articles around food and culture, to chatter around #GrilledCheeseDay, to a trending conversation that happened around the rare occurrence of five planets simultaneously visible to the naked eye. On a more individualized level, when a traveler recently posted on Twitter asking for a hotel recommendation for a Nashville girls weekend, M Live took notice and quickly acted, offering not only relevant hotel recommendations, but also sharing content about local nightlife to enhance her Nashville experience beyond just the hotel stay. Just 13 minutes later, the traveler shared on Twitter that she had booked a stay with Marriott.The M Live location in Florida will serve as the company's epicenter for real-time social engagement with customers in theCaribbean and Latin America (CALA) region. The CALA regional hub features localized and in-language content, in Spanish and Portuguese, to connect with the consumer in a relevant way, all powered by live data and metrics. For example, M Live CALA might track conversations around Carnival celebrations happening in Colombia, Aruba, and Brazil, spring break in Mexico, the Caribbean Copa America games, and hotel grand openings in the region. M Live will enable Marriott to engage in those conversations, and deliver relevant creative and content to travelers."With the opening of M Live CALA, we're leveraging the power of global marketing and making it relevant for travelers in the region," said Diana Plazas, Vice President of Brand, Marketing, and Digital - CALA, Marriott International. "With in-region engagement and in-language capabilities, we're connecting with travelers in more culturally meaningful ways."To date, M Live has created a number of successful real-time marketing efforts that have driven consumer engagement. Most recently in the CALA region, M Live leveraged the built-in audience of the JW Marriott brand's social channels to maximize reach for the opening of the JW Marriott Los Cabos in Mexico, resulting in almost 1 million total reached on Twitter, while also using geo-fencing technology to discover untagged social conversations happening on-property that Marriott identified as opportunities to deliver a better guest experience at the hotel.

Marriott Transforms Mobile App Development

Marriott 4 August 2015
International Data Group's (IDG) CIO magazine has announced that Marriott International, Inc (NASDAQ: MAR) is a recipient of the 2015 CIO 100 Award. The 28th annual award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology.Marriott is being honored for its Application Programming Interface (API) Platform, a new, centralized way in which the company collects and distributes data, and delivers its applications. Launched in 2014, the Platform provides a core application infrastructure, application development tools, and an evolving catalog of APIs, which enable Marriott to make strategic, efficient, and cost-effective business decisions. The Platform has also reduced mobile release delivery times from four-to-six months to four-to-six weeks. Most importantly, through the Platform, Marriott is able to execute game-changing mobile releases that provide a seamless, technology-driven guest experience.Leveraging the API platform, Marriott was able to release an application enabling Marriott Rewards members to check-in and checkout, receive room ready alerts, review their reservations, and receive directions to the hotel on their Apple Watch. Marriott also just introduced Mobile Requests, which enables guests to request services and amenities from their mobile devices before, during and after their stays at select Marriott Hotels. Further, Marriott has recorded more than 2.7 million mobile check-ins to date, an industry first and testament to the company's commitment to pushing the innovation envelope."Marriott continues to transform its mobile and digital technology to seamlessly serve and connect with guests throughout their travel journey," said Bruce Hoffmeister, global chief information officer, Marriott International. "The API Platform has truly revolutionized how we approach mobile applications, how we deliver data, and how we can best deliver consistent and relevant experiences for our guests. We are honored that our efforts have been recognized by CIO magazine.""For 28 years now, the CIO 100 Awards have honored the innovative use of technology to deliver genuine business value," saidMaryfran Johnson, editor in chief, CIO magazine & events. "Our 2015 winners are an outstanding example of the transformative power of IT to drive everything from revenue growth to competitive advantage."About the CIO 100 The recipients of this year's CIO 100 Award were selected through a three-step process. First, companies filled out an online application form detailing their innovative IT and business initiatives. Next, a team of external judges (many of them former CIOs) reviewed the applications in depth, looking for leading-edge IT practices and measurable results. Finally, CIO editors reviewed the judges' recommendations and selected the final 100.Complete coverage of the 2015 CIO 100 Awards will be available online at CIO.com on August 1, 2015 and in the August issue ofCIO magazine.

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