Marriott International has launched Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy, a programme that aims to offer meaningful travel by helping travellers forge connections with local communities in their host destination.
Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy kicked off last Tuesday with a pilot at 15 Marriott International hotels across Asia-Pacific, offering purpose-driven experiences that focus on three pillars: Environmental Protection to support the resiliency of the natural environment due to environmental degradation, pollution and climate change; Community Engagement to create a positive impact in the communities where the group’s properties operate through cultural education or volunteerism; and Marine Conservation to restore and preserve marine ecosystems and species.
Current experiences range from planting saplings at the JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa in India to coral propagation, transplanting, and restoration at the Sheraton Maldives Fullmoon Resort and Spa in the Maldives. Other ways that travellers can make a positive impact in host communities include food redistribution in Bali, and beach cleanups in Sanya.
All these experiences are guided by Marriott’s sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
On the motivation behind the carving out of Good Travel under the Marriott Bonvoy programme, Bart Buiring, chief sales and marketing officer of Marriott International Asia Pacific, said: “This umbrella creation within Marriott Bonvoy would make it easier to search and identify these specific experiences. Some of them have been around, while some of them are new. But the time to launch them is now, as people become more conscious of learning and engaging in more meaningful travel.”
Over time, Buiring shared that Good Travel will be expanded to most of Marriott’s Asia-Pacific destinations. But first, he pointed out, feedback from travellers on current experiences was needed, while the engineering of new experiences within hotels or cluster hotels is ongoing.
Although Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy was created with leisure guests in mind as “domestic travel would recover first led by millennials with a growing aspiration for purposeful travel”, corporate groups who are interested in these experiences can work with individual hotels to see how it can fit their requirements.
Buiring added that Marriott hotels would be “delighted to tailor offerings in close consultation with the local community and respective NGOs”.