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Bonvoy Comes of Age

David Flueck, Marriott International’s SVP Global Loyalty updates us on one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programs on its one-year anniversary

BT:  It’s been just over one year since Marriott International integrated its three loyalty programs into Marriott Bonvoy. What has that meant for its 137 million members?

FLUECK: It is more than a loyalty program. Marriott Bonvoy is a travel program built on bringing the joy of good travel to life through a portfolio of 30 brands that encompass the largest collection of luxury and lifestyle properties from brands like the St. Regis, The Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, EDITION and Moxy, and our more than 7,200 properties in 134 countries and territories. We are continuing to outpace the field with the recent launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International (premium home rentals) and Marriott’s entrance into the all-inclusive resort market.

BT: Business travelers are familiar with how to earn and redeem points, but Marriott Bonvoy has a few unique twists.

FLUECK:  Our Marriott Bonvoy Tours & Activities platform enables members to earn points for on-the-ground experiences in more than 1,000 destinations around the world. Every time a member books any one of these tours, rental cars and even airport transfers through the dedicated website, they earn points they can use for hotel stays or Marriott Bonvoy Moments. For example, a private yacht cruise around Dubai will earn the member who booked the tour 3,500 points, while a skip-the-line pass at the Louvre in Paris will earn 480 points. Many of our members are already doing these sorts of activities while traveling, so why not earn points while doing them?

Another way members can earn points outside of hotel stays is by participating in Eat Around Town. Members earn points while dining at tens of thousands of restaurants in the United States, many of which might be in their hometowns.

BT:  Are redemption options being expanded too?

FLUECK:  Members of Marriott Bonvoy have many ways to redeem points, and we are introducing new ones all the time. Just three months after the launch of Marriott Bonvoy, we introduced Homes & Villas by Marriott International. Now members can earn and redeem points at 5,000 premium and luxury homes rentals in 190 destinations throughout the US, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Some 80 destinations are in markets where we did not have hotels.

We also continue to expand Marriott Bonvoy Moments, the experiential platform that offers members the chance to bid their points for exclusive money-can’t-buy experiences. The strong partnerships we’ve forged with Universal Music Group, the NFL, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsports, Manchester United and others mean each of these experiences goes beyond generic concert tickets and meet-and-greets. For example, this year we’ve already offered a skills and drills combined masterclass with NFL Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, VIP access to Coachella including a cookie baking class led by Billie Eilish, a Manchester United Kit Manager experience, access to the ultra-exclusive Vanity Fair Oscar party, and more – all with points.

BT:  Are Marriott Bonvoy Moments that much more popular than traditional hotel night redemptions?

FLUECK:  Using points for free nights is still the most popular way our members use their points. However, people value their points in different ways. This year, members have redeemed more than a billion points on 10,000 exclusive Moments which ranged from 15,000 points all the way to several million points per package. This demonstrates just how popular experiential travel has become among travelers.