Most of us have our morning routines. Mine usually starts with skimming through a couple of newspapers with my dog Murphy while we have breakfast together. It's one of the ways I stay informed about the latest world events and business trends. I also love to relax by reading a good book, sitting down in a comfortable chair and getting lost in the story.
But times are changing. My children and grandchildren check the news on their PDAs and read books on Kindles. While I can't imagine reading something from such a small screen, they love the portability and timeliness of getting their news and information on the go.
A lot of our guests are telling us the same thing. They'd rather get their news online, and they feel guilty about seeing the newspapers outside their hotel room which they don't have time to read. So this week we made a major decision: In our full-service hotels like Marriott and Renaissance, we are going to ask our guests if they want a paper delivered to their rooms, and if so, which one they prefer. In our other hotel brands like Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and TownePlace suites, our guests will have a choice of papers available in the lobby.
It's true, we'll save money by making this change. But frankly, especially in this economic climate, it isn't responsible to keep giving guests something they don't want. Our goal is to give guests the choice--we have the newspapers there if they want them. So, it really is the best of all worlds.
We're also looking at innovative ways to deliver news and information. We've been working with USA Todayto deliver the latest news when guests access the Internet from their rooms or our hotel lobbies. Our Courtyard brand began introducing the interactive GoBoard in its lobbies last year. That's where our guests can get news from USA Today around-the-clock.
Right now, we are at a crossroads. Some people want their news online; others, like me, want to read a newspaper. I'm not sure what the future holds, but one thing remains clear: consumers and advertisers are going to vote with their wallets. And during these changing times, Marriott will remain committed to giving our guests a choice and the best customer service possible.
I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping keep Marriott on the move.