HONG KONG, Sept. 16, 2021 / PRNewswire / –
With reasons for optimism about the rebound in travel, Marriott International and industry leaders discussed future trends at its first hybrid event in Asia Pacific – “Be there with Marriott International – The way forward for travel and events“. The event, which was attended by over 1,100 travel industry professionals in person and online in early September through Asia Pacific, presented a lively panel discussion on emerging meeting and event trends and demands, evolving business travel policies, luxury travel and consumer behavior in the post-pandemic era . These key trends have emerged:
Customer experience remains the key
Cleanliness remains the top priority for many consumers, and safety and health expectations have increased dramatically as part of the customer experience. Social distancing, face masks and hand sanitizers are expected essentials. Marriott International offers event planners advice on setting up events in the new normal thanks to the commitment of the company “Connect with Confidence”.
Bart Buiring, Director of Sales and Marketing, Marriott International Asia Pacific, said: “As we continually improve our guest experience, we understand how cleanliness is always a priority for many. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our customers through improved cleaning regime changes. that takes advantage of technology. I am optimistic about the positive points in the resumption of travel that we are seeing and look forward to the reopening of international borders. “
Human interaction in person more powerful than ever
There has been rapid adoption of technology and digitization in the MICE industry. Although virtual events were the norm at the height of the pandemic, 47% of respondents polled after the event said more than half of their events next year will be offline. Hybrid events, which combine live interactions and the convenience of going digital, are expected to become the de facto meeting format.
Event planning in the “new normal” has taught industry leaders to keep testing, thinking, evaluating, and learning, so they can be nimble and change what isn’t working. MICE industry leaders must recognize the importance and power of face-to-face meetings complemented by hybrid technology to bring out the human experience and connection.
Ramesh daryanani, vice president of global sales for Marriott International Asia-Pacific, says, “We need to strike a balance between technology, reach and engagement. When hosting hybrid events, the platform isn’t the most Connection brings it. Marriott’s hybrid solutions will continue to evolve, but there’s no doubt nothing can replace the power of face-to-face meetings.
As the borders reopen, customers will seek more intimate events; and the networking that accompanies these events will also be a priority given the many connections lost during the pandemic.
Well-being is the new luxury
The pandemic has given travelers the opportunity to think about restarting travel for the better. Wellness trips, coupled with the pursuit of improving personal well-being, are driving demand for stress-relieving weekends, all-inclusive hidden stays, spiritual retreats and emerging destinations off the beaten track.
According to a survey conducted by Marriott International, 3 out of 4 travelers surveyed indicated a desire to travel to relieve stress. There is a higher demand for slow travel, where people slow down and visit one place, taking their time to familiarize themselves with the destination, its surroundings and its culture, rather than a fleeting visit. Industry leaders must adapt to these growing trends and organize experiences that meet changing market demands. Marriott Bonvoy’s Westin and JW Marriott are two brands that offer programs that allow guests to maintain their wellness practices while on the go. The recently launched pilot of Have a nice trip with Marriott Bonvoy is another example of a program where guests have the opportunity to connect with local communities to create lasting positive impact.
In partnership with technology partner NowEvents, the hybrid event took place at Renaissance Hong Kong Harbor View Hotel, Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, and JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa. The in-person events saw the use of technology where the panelists appeared to be in the same room even though in different locations. Moderated by Karen bolinger, Strategic Business Consultant, PCMA Asia-Pacific, panelists included:
Andy Winchester (HK) – APAC Travel Manager, Bloomberg;
Anna patterson (SG) – Vice President and General Manager, George P Johnson Singapore;
Bart Buiring (HK) – Director of Sales and Marketing, Marriott International;
Charlotte harris (HK) – Managing Director, Charlotte Travel Hong Kong;
Kenji Soh (SG) – Executive Director, Asia Pacific Travel Manager, Goldman Sachs;
Oscar Cerezales (SG), Strategy Director, MCI Group
For more information and resources related to Marriott International’s enhanced meeting and event offerings, and to see the live stream of the event, visit www.marriottbonvoyevents.com .
About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based at Bethesda, Maryland, United States, and encompasses a portfolio of approximately 7,800 properties under 30 major brands spanning 138 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses owned vacation resorts around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its award-winning travel program. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.
About Marriott Bonvoy®
Marriott Bonvoy® encompasses Marriott International’s extraordinary portfolio of brands – including the largest collection of luxury properties, an award-winning loyalty program, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, an online store with 13 branded stores and access endless experiences – all available through the Marriott Bonvoy® Mobile App. Members can earn and redeem points for stays and accelerate the points they earn with co-branded credit cards from JP Morgan Chase and American Express. For more information on Marriott Bonvoy® or to register for free in the loyalty program and benefit from the advantages reserved for members, visit marriottbonvoy.com and to download the Marriott Bonvoy® Mobile app, visit mobile-app.marriott.com. Travelers can also connect with Marriott Bonvoy® on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
SOURCE Marriott International Inc.