Spring marks the beginning of the prime season for traveling, as the temperatures are rising and schools are quickly coming up on the magical time known as summer vacation. Loyalty programs from around the travel industry are beefing up in response to the coming boom, and Marriott Rewards is no different. Among the improvements coming to the program are the experiences marketplace, Elite concierge service, and guaranteed late checkout.
 
Frequent travelers who are looking for a moment to escape their busy schedules will especially appreciate the addition of guaranteed late checkout, and the segment is being effectively targeted by restricting the benefit to Gold and Platinum Elite members.
 
Concierge is a tried-and-true method of creating personalized customer experience, and Marriott’s newest concierge offering is focused on building relationships with each guest and providing service based on their individual preferences. This touch of personalization will likely go a long way in building authentic customer loyalty.
 
Perhaps the most impactful change, however, is the addition of the experiences marketplace. The new set of rewards available to members includes once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like Broadway shows, sports team meet-ups, and high-end cooking lessons. These additions are in line with the evolving preferences of younger consumers, who often prefer experiences to physical rewards.
 
Especially among Millennials and social media-minded customers, experiences are tangibly more sought after than the technology and apparel that have typically comprised reward mixes.
 
“We’re evolving how we engage with, recognize, and reward our loyal guests,” said Thom Kozik, Vice President of Loyalty at Marriott International and speaker at the 2016 Loyalty Expo. “Loyalty is not just about our members choosing to stay with us. We want to make their travel more seamless and personalized, and we also want to deliver memorable experiences that go beyond the stay. Giving our members even more flexibility, freedom, and opportunity to enjoy what they love most about travel—and life—is one of the best ways we can show our loyalty to them.”
 
Marriott Rewards is among the largest loyalty programs in hospitality, reaching 17 brands and over 4,200 properties around the world.

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