Marriott to add worldwide travel experiences for guests with PlacePass and surges past 100 million members

Marriott announced two major milestones this morning. Firstly, the hotel
chain has surpassed 100 million members in their Marriott Rewards,
Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs. They join a
league of programs that can be counted on one hand that have members in
the nine figures. Secondly, they announced their investment into
PlacePass, a online meta-search platform for in-destination experiences.
Members will soon be able to choose from an additional 100,000 plus
authentic local experiences in 800 destinations worldwide when they book
direct on Marriott.com or SPG.com or their respective apps.

“The addition of PlacePass activities and tours beginning later this
year reflects Marriott’s commitment to giving our guests a complete
travel experience, whether they are in planning mode, staying in our
hotels and even in-between stays when they’re thinking about travel,”
said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott
International. “We want our guests to count on Marriott to give them
access to more of the destinations and things they love to do when they
travel.”

One can assume that what will happen is after you complete your hotel
booking with Marriott, Ritz or SPG you’ll be offered a hand picked
selection of activities and tours in your destination that you can add
on to your trip. Marriott does not state whether this will be cash only
options or if you will also be able to pay for them with points like you
currently can with Marriott’s Marketplace and SPG’s Moments one of a
kind experiences.

Here are just some of the examples of travel experiences provided by PlacePass:

  • Explore the filming locations for the hit series “Downton Abbey” on a
    VIP guided tour from London, including Highclere Castle and Bampton,
    the setting for Downton village.
  • Wrestle with a retired sumo wrestler in Tokyo, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the history of Japan’s national sport.
  • Get a taste of desert life in the dunes outside Dubai. Explore the
    dunes by camel or 4×4, then enjoy a sunset view of the desert and
    traditional Bedouin-style dinner. 
  • Explore Cambodia’s iconic temples on a sunrise mountain biking tour through the Angkor Archaeological Park.
  • Enjoy a private viewing of the crown jewels in the Tower of London, hosted by the museum’s Chief Exhibitor.
  • Perfect your pasta-making skills alongside a local Italian chef at a
    Tuscan farmhouse, a chateau in the Dolomites, or a Florentine cooking
    school.

While this is not a new innovation, you can go to PlacePass right now
and book these tours and activities directly, the integration of it into
Marriott’s booking process give PlacePass a huge new market to tap into
to! I’ll be honest I never heard of PlacePass until Marriott sent us
this press release and there are probably millions more who have not
heard of them. For some of you I know you’ll skip over the tour booking
process when you reserve your room but for others the right experience
may just pop up and you’ll be able to book it easily with your hotel
room rather than having to go to another website and complete another
booking.

Click here to learn more about this new option coming to Marriott and SPG

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