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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Marriott International expands portfolio in new destinations across Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam – With the recent reopening of Vietnam’s borders, multinational hotel and lodging company Marriott International has expanded its portfolio in the country. This expansion aims to add nearly 9,000 rooms to the company’s portfolio and see the debut of key brands.

Through this expansion, Marriott’s global brand Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is expected to make its debut in several new destinations across Vietnam, including on the Emerald Island of Phu Quoc, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay, the ‘City of Eternal Springs’ Dalat, and the shores of Binh Chau. A stylish new Renaissance Hotels is also planned to open in the seafront city of Danang, whilst Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts plans to debut in Danang and Cam Ranh. Moreover, the flagship Marriott Hotels brand is expected to debut in Hanoi, and Hoi An, whilst the Westin – the company’s wellness brand – is expected to open in Hanoi and Cam Ranh. Marriott Executive Apartments, the longer-stay brand, is also slated to start welcoming guests in Danang.

Meanwhile, Marriott’s select service portfolio will be providing a range of offerings for both domestic and international travellers. Fairfield by Marriott is slated to be introduced in locations such as Vinh Yen, Ha Long, and Hanoi, whilst several Courtyard by Marriott hotels are expected to open across Danang, Ha Long, and Nha Trang. In addition, Marriott’s The Ritz-Carlton Residences is expected to make its debut in Vietnam in 2024.

Rajeev Menon, Marriott International’s president for APAC (excluding Greater China), commented, “Our growth in Vietnam reflects the trust our local owners and franchisees continue to have in Marriott International, and we look forward to presenting them with opportunities to leverage our comprehensive portfolio of 30 brands, as well as our strong distribution network.”

Meanwhile, Jakob Helgen, Marriott International’s area vice president for Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, noted that Vietnam is a vibrant destination and has over the years experienced record levels of tourism as international travellers flocked to the country and domestic travellers began to discover the many wonders available in their own backyard.

“With the recent reopening of borders, we are hopeful for Vietnam to rebound rapidly, and we are excited to expand across even more parts of this captivating country,” said Helgen.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Marriott Bonvoy, Bali.com team up for one-stop platform for Bali travel arrangements

Bali, Indonesia – As the Indonesian province of Bali gears up for reopening to tourists this year, Marriott International’s loyalty program Marriott Bonvoy and tourism gateway Bali.com have teamed up for a one-stop platform where travellers can book a travel arrangement to Bali under one platform.

Through the partnership, selected Marriott Bonvoy resorts in Bali and Bali.com will be offering a one-stop booking journey that includes a vacation accommodation and express travel visa on Marriott.com, or the destination platform. The express travel visa application process will be facilitated by Bali.com.

In addition, Marriott Bonvoy Members will enjoy 10% off the express travel visa application fee should they wish to make their own visa arrangements with Bali.com.

Ramesh Jackson, area vice president for Indonesia at Marriott International, said that they have always been a firm believer in the advancement of travel recovery, and with the re-opening of Bali to international guests, they are excited to work with Bali.com.

“We can identify that travel in this day and age is no longer what it used to be. With so many options on information channels and sources, it can be confusing and time consuming for travellers to navigate through reliable information. That is why we felt it was important to provide guests with a one click travel solution. This alliance is designed to provide guests with a worry-free seamless booking journey for their mandated quarantine stay with the option of a travel visa packaged together under Marriott’s integrated platform,” Jackson said.

Meanwhile, Michael Strobel, founder at Bali.com, commented that travellers are craving well-researched and reliable information and travel partners, hence they are extremely happy to be part of this campaign and to cooperate with Marriott Bonvoy resorts in Indonesia, in providing travellers with a transparent quarantine package and a booking experience that includes the e-visa.

“Bali.com is determined to play a supporting role in facilitating the return of tourists to Bali and Indonesia overall. We had a few million visitors on Bali.com during the pandemic who were looking for information about travel and visa regulations since Indonesia closed its borders in March 2020,” Strobel said.

He added, “The interest in Bali is still strong and people want to come back. We understand the importance during these uncertain times, to provide absolutely reliable information and guide and assist our visitors to take informed choices so they can enjoy a great holiday the moment the opportunity arises to visit Bali again.”

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Marriott International, Rakuten enter strategic collab to enhance travel experience

Tokyo, Japan – Multinational hotel and lodging company Marriott International and internet services company Rakuten have joined forces in their latest partnership, aimed at enhancing the travel experience for Japanese consumers, whether travelling locally or internationally.

Said partnership, which is scheduled to launch in phases from late-November 2021, is set to open up a world of benefits and elevate the travel experience for Japanese customers in the following ways such as integrated digital travel experience, more perks for registered members, and VIP experiences.

Through the partnership, Marriott International’s travel program Marriott Bonvoy will have direct access to millions of Rakuten members to offer them unparalleled experiences and a diverse portfolio of Marriott Bonvoy’s 30 international hotel brands, and market directly to Rakuten’s customer base with content and promotions that are customized for the Japanese traveler.

Meanwhile, for Rakuten’s part, it will utilize its digital expertise and capitalize on the current growth of Japan’s digital economy, alongside the global scale and the rapid growth of the Marriott Bonvoy footprint. 

This new agreement is designed to create a seamless, integrated travel experience and allow eligible members to enjoy benefits from both Marriott Bonvoy and the Rakuten loyalty program.

“We are excited to work with Marriott International to offer eligible Rakuten members the amazing benefits of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s industry award-winning travel program. Rakuten customers have come to expect the highest standards of service and convenience, and Marriott is an ideal partner. This groundbreaking alliance will add incredible value for our members, enabling them to tap into the advantages of a global travel program,” said Kazunori Takeda, group executive vice president and president of commerce company at Rakuten Group.

Meanwhile, Rajeev Menon, president for Asia Pacific excluding Greater China at Marriott International, commented, “With a significant number of Japan’s population a Rakuten member, we anticipate this collaboration will allow us to strategically capture a greater share of a strong Japanese travel market and connect these travelers to our expansive portfolio of global brands. We’re delighted to be working with Rakuten to advance the recovery of travel.”

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Marketing Featured APAC

Global hotel brand The Ritz-Carlton launches APAC campaign, presents travel as a ‘gift’

USA – Global travel has been on its toes ever since countries have been slowly opening up on the back of aggressive vaccination drives. In line with this, travel brands are gearing up to once again touch base with travelers and remind them of what they have to offer for consumers’ repressed wanderlust. 

The Ritz-Carlton, the global luxury hotel chain headquartered in the US, is one of them and in partnership with long-time agency partner Team One, the hotel chain is bringing to Asia-Pacific a campaign highlighting travel as a ‘gift’. 

Truly in these times, the capability to travel can only be seen as a boon. Titled ‘A Gift Like No Other’, the campaign presents visually appealing sceneries and iconic recreational activities spotlighting how travel presents as a gift of ‘escape’, ‘discovery’ as well as ‘tranquility’ and the like.

The 90-minute long-form ad of the campaign, ‘A Gift Like No Other’.

Through the years-long partnership of Team One and the global hotel company, both have been capturing The Ritz-Carlton’s ‘Let Us Stay With You’ ethos for their US-based campaigns. The campaign, which is the first work the agency spearheaded for the brand for the APAC region, is an extension of the said expression. 

According to Team One, the campaign was informed by insights from The Global Affluent Tribe™, its pioneering research program which examines the lives of affluent people across the globe. The study found that these types of travelers are passionate about exploring, observing, and challenging the different facets of life, fully understanding that personal interests and new experiences are essential to an authentic life. 

Team One’s CEO Julie Michael said, “In creating this campaign, our team leaned into these important insights by showing how travel today is about much more than the destination, and staying at a Ritz-Carlton hotel or resort uniquely enables the gift of creating enduring memories.” 

Meanwhile, Jennie Toh, vice president for brand marketing and management for Marriott International in APAC, the hotel chain’s parent company, commented, “It is the shared human experience of giving and receiving that sustains some of life’s most meaningful connections. This campaign brings this concept to life, connecting with a desire from our guests for immersive and enriching experiences.” 

Toh adds, “This is a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the incomparable gifts that come with travel, exploration, and learning, combined with the legendary service and personal connections delivered by the Ladies & Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton.”

The campaign aims to create awareness for the luxury brand and its newest hotel in the Maldives, and hotels in China, Japan, and Bali, helping the hotel group stand out as a unique player in a market that’s become crowded with other luxury properties. 

The integrated campaign includes a variety of elements spanning digital, OOH, print, and social. Aside from the main 90-minute spot, additional 30- and 15-second spots have also started to roll out across various international markets including Japan, China, and the Maldives.