When most people think about those who stay in hotels, they picture executives traveling to meet with their clients to close a deal or leisure travelers taking vacations at resorts. In our Marriott Hotels and Resorts brand, business travel makes up about 40 percent of our business, leisure travel 20 percent. You might be surprised to learn that the other 40 percent comprise what we call group travelers. They are very important business for us.
These travelers could be a sales team getting together for a seminar or a new product launch. Typically, they not only book a block of rooms, but meeting space, as well as banquets and food and beverage of all sorts and sizes.
Corporate meetings are usually held during the week. On weekends, we are hosting more weddings, family reunions and youth sports groups.
Because of our reputation for service and quality hotels, from moderately priced to luxury, Marriott has been able to capture more than its fair share of group business. That's great but we can even do better.
Some time ago, we realized Marriott could get more group business if we made it easier to shop and book online. Travelers were already comfortable booking hotel rooms for business or leisure, so why not for small groups?
We launched QuickGroup on Marriott.com so people planning group events can search more than 3,000 of our hotels worldwide. They can instantly compare rates and hotel amenities, book as many as 25 rooms and request meeting space, catering and more. It has been a huge success in an economy where getting ahead of your competition is more important than ever before.
Our customers like the convenience and they like the options of booking online or calling us directly whether it's booking 25 rooms for a group or just one room for a weekend.
I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.