Marriott wants to help plan your next vacation

One of the Downton Abbey locations. Credit: Marriott.

With so many travel options out there, it seems like a logical move for any hotel, airline, or other travel company to expand their offerings.

Marriott has made a move to become more than just a hotel company – but are looking to offer travel experiences for their guests. They announced they have invested in PlacePass, “a pioneering provider of travel technology solutions offering travelers a leading online meta-search platform for in-destination experiences.”

Some examples of the program with Marriott include:

  • Exploring the filming locations for Downton Abbey on a VIP guided tour from London.
  • Wrestle with a retired sumo wrestler in Tokyo, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the history of Japan’s national sport.
  • Visit the dunes outside Dubai by camel or 4×4.
  • 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.

According to Marriott, the investment will allow Marriott guests to choose from more than 100,000 “local experiences” in 800 destinations across the world – when they book direct on Marriott.com or SPG.com (Starwood Preferred Guest) or their respective apps.

The move into experiential travel experiences is not new to the Marriorr Brand. In 2006, SPG launched “Moments” and later launched Marriott Rewards’ Experiences Marketplace, where guests can redeem points for their travel experiences.

“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.”

Marriott’s Loyalty Program, which also includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, now has more than 100 million members. PlacePass was started to help travelers better design their vacations.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to partner with Marriott, an innovative hospitality leader,” said Emily Bernard, Chief Brand Officer and co-founder of PlacePass. “Together with Marriott, we will connect guests to great experiences so they make the most of their travels, connect with locals, and discover the world in new ways.”