Marriott on the Move




The Year of the Dragon

Posted:01/23/201212:03 PM



2012 is the year of the Dragon. Let the week-long celebrations begin. That’s right, an entire week of brilliant fireworks and colorful parades. It’s truly an amazing spectacle. Think Times Square – but a whole lot bigger!

Our Marriott hotels in Shanghai, Beijing and Sanya, will have ceremonies featuring Chinese drummers and Kung Fu artists. Food is also very important to New Year's celebrations. The Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel created a unique dim sum dumpling menu in honor of the Dragon.  Each dish is a work of art. 

Chinese New Year Coconut Pudding and Taro and Turnip Cake. 

Loh Hei Chinese Salmon Salad.

Pancake with pan-fried goose liver, sliced pork and chicken liver. 

The JW Marriott Hotel in Seoul celebrates with Korean customs.  Marriott employees wear colorful Korean costumes and hand out traditional treats like sticky rice cakes. 

Marriott hotels are truly apart of the communities they call home.  Like the dragon that represents strength, passion and good fortune, Marriott has strength in its brands, passion in its guests and good fortune for continued growth.  Recently, we signed our 100th hotel in China and are opening one hotel a month during the next three years. Each Asian hotel opening has its own traditional celebration. I dotted the eye of the lion in 2007 when Marriott opened its 3,000th property, JW Marriott Beijing.   Dotting eye of lion - JW Marriott Beijing opening 2007

Later this year, I plan on traveling back to China with my family.   I’ll be 80-years old and I can’t wait to learn more about its customs and help promote tourism.  So, happy New Year to our friends in Asia. Good fortune to everyone.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.Chinese

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A Big Day for U.S. Tourism

Posted:01/20/201212:26 PM

"The more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work.”

 -- President Obama, January 19, 2012

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Destination Board

This year 1 billion people are expected to travel outside their own countries to see and experience the world.  And for every 35 of those international visitors, one job is created. 

That's why President Obama went to Disneyworld this week to talk about the importance of travel and tourism in creating American jobs.  He also knows that when someone from another country visits the United States, they generally go home a fan, and that's good for our world diplomacy. 

But since 9-11 our visa policies have unintentionally put up a big virtual wall around our country.  Last session in Congress, there were several bills dealing with the barriers to travel, all geared toward making the process smoother for international visitors to travel to the United States.  President Obama & Bill Marriott

Those Congressional efforts were led by Senators Klobuchar and Blunt, and they deserve a lot of credit for pointing out ways the government can do better to harness the economic opportunities that come with more travel.

President Obama, his Cabinet and Ambassadors like Gary Locke in China "get it," too. They want to compete for international visitors in the global marketplace.

So here's what President Obama has promised and we look forward to working with him to accomplish it:

  • For the first time, a President has set goals to increase VISA capacity and shorten wait times, and the State Department and Department of Homeland Security are charged with making it happen.  Way to go Mr. President!
  • He is focused on improving the process in high-demand countries like China and Brazil. There are millions of people in these countries with the economic resources to travel and we want to make the process better so they come to New York, Las Vegas, Disneyworld, or Miami Beach.
  • And the President promised to improve our entry experience through programs like Global Entry, to ensure a welcoming process once these travelers get here.

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

To coordinate this effort, he instructed the Departments of Commerce and Interior to work with the new “Brand USA” to create a strategy to promote travel to the United States.  Marriott has also committed three-million to the campaign.

We are proud to make that investment because Marriott, like the President, believes in this country and our terrific travel and tourism industry.  The more people that experience it, the better!

He also appointed new members to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.  They will help ensure these great changes get executed and our very own Executive Vice President, Kathleen Matthews, is one of the new Board members.  Kathleen keeps me on track, so I know she'll do the same with the State Department!

I'm thrilled to see this great initiative take shape and applaud President Obama’s leadership.  Go Brand USA!

I'm Bill Marriott, and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move!

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Checking In as a Guest, Leaving as Family

Posted:01/09/201210:33 AM

Joy Bricker went public at the age of 79.  She’s famous for being the 10-year guest at TownePlace Suites in Falls Church, Virginia.  Ten years … in the same room!  Now that’s loyalty and a lot of Rewards points.  It also makes for a great media story.

When Joy announced she was checking-out to move in with her daughter in New York, the media converged -- The Washington Post, CNN and ABC Channel 7 News.  Before you knew it, folks around the world were talking about the lady who for ten years made Marriott her home. 

International Stories

What makes this story so great is not the long “extended stay,” but the “extended family.”  When Joy arrived at the hotel, she was recently widowed and looking for work.  She found a government job and decided not to move out.  

The hotel staff invited her to their homes for dinners and baby showers. The GM visited her when she was in the hospital.  After all, that’s what family does and Joy was family.

People often asked her why she didn’t buy a condo or rent an apartment.  Her answer was that TownePlace Suites made her feel safe, comfortable, and part of their community.  I call that hospitality: caring for our guests, making them feel at home.  And that’s what keeps guests coming back or in Joy’s case staying for a decade – a long time!

On Joy’s moving day, the hotel team members shed some tears when they said goodbye.   After all, a member of their family and recent media star was on her way out.   

I’m told that Joy doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.   Well, it’s about family, an unusual “extended” family.  

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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Two Focused Companies

Posted:12/05/201111:34 AM

Today it’s exciting to know that we can devote all of our attention to managing and franchising our lodging brands. With the spinoff of our timeshare unit, we’re now closer to a pure lodging company than we’ve ever been before.  Which, in my opinion, is where we ought to be.   MVW logo

A new public company has been created, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, and it’s poised for terrific growth.

The Marriott name will remain above the door.  The company will be led by Steve Weisz, a nearly 40 year Marriott veteran.  My daughter, Debbie, sits on the board and the past president and the vice-chairman of Marriott International, Bill Shaw, is chairman of the Marriott Vacations Worldwide Board.  So there’s a lot of good leadership in place.

This move creates the leading stand-alone vacation ownership business.  And I’m confident they’ll do a great job managing our Marriott and Ritz-Carlton brands in the timeshare business.


Lodging is a tremendous business.  And managing and franchising a growing portfolio of outstanding brands plays to our strength.  Our business strategy should not only deliver terrific growth but should also provide a much higher return on investment.  

In 1927, Marriott started as a root beer stand.  Over the years we’ve changed with the marketplace, seized great opportunities and continued to evolve.  

Today, we are focused on managing and franchising the finest lodging brands in the world and we’re really well positioned as we enter this new and exciting era for our company.  

I also want to wish Steve Weisz and his team great success in their new Marriott Vacations Worldwide company.  

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

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"Build It" said our Haitian Associates -- an Historic Announcement

Posted:11/28/2011 5:49 PM


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One of the best things Marriott can do to improve the lives of people and communities around the world is to open up a brand new hotel.  Right away we create hundreds of new jobs, provide skill training and help improve the environment for doing business. 


That's why I'm so very proud to announce that Marriott will open a hotel in Haiti.  It will be the first hotel in Haiti since the earthquake and the first international hotel to be located there.  When we open our doors, it will signal that Haiti is also open for business. 


Earthquake footage courtesy of the American Red Cross

Two years ago when the earthquake struck, I was staying at our Marriott Harbor Beach Ft. Lauderdale, Florida hotel where more than 200 Haitians work.  Many of them lost family members and our foundation immediately contributed to the Red Cross for earthquake relief.

What would become of Haiti?  The country’s resilient spirit gripped the world.  Could the poorest country in the western hemisphere be rebuilt better than ever after this terrible earthquake?  

I knew we needed to explore building a new hotel.  How this deal was “baked” is a remarkable story that goes straight to our core values of putting people first and serving our world. 

Led by Haitian associates, Harbor Beach sent a team to join in the relief efforts.  It was grim.  They didn't even have places for them to stay or to eat.  

Bill Marriott and Harbor Beach AssociatesThen, working with the Clinton Foundation, our development team led by our Executive Vice President for Global Communications and Public Affairs, Kathleen Matthews, went to Haiti to explore possible sites and local partners.  Among them was Digicel, the largest telecommunications firm in the Caribbean, who had recently entered the Haitian market.  They needed hotel rooms to get business done and they were interested in being our partner. 

Marriott Haiti hotel renderingThe 173-room Marriott hotel is scheduled to open doors to “a world of opportunity” for the people of Haiti.  I know our Haitian associates in Florida are excited to train the new workers and get the hotel launched in 2014.

This is an historic moment for Marriott and for Haiti.  Our associates deserve the credit.  They urged us to "build it," and WE ARE.  Their spirit would not let us walk away. 

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about our move into Haiti.  Would you travel there?

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.


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The NFL & Courtyard - Two Power Brands

Posted:11/18/2011 6:19 PM

Screen shot 2011-11-15 at 11.18.26 AM

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Brian Orakpo stands 6’3” and 260 pounds.  He came by headquarters to welcome Courtyard as the official sponsor of the NFL.  


I’ve been a longtime Redskins fan, in fact, since 1942.  I’ve seen them win some Super Bowls and I’ve seen them struggle like they’re doing this year.  

Putting a winning team together isn’t easy.  You need to find talent at every position and keep adapting your game plan.  A football coach and a CEO are always drafting or recruiting; they are coaching or mentoring; they are creating new plays or in our case at Marriott, new brands.  

That’s why it’s great that Courtyard is the official hotel sponsor of the NFL.  Marriott invented Courtyard and changed the lodging game.   We saw an opportunity to capture new ground and appeal to the business traveler.  That was way back in 1983.   

Today, the game has changed.  It’s much more competitive as other companies move into the market.  But we continue to innovate, to redesign our lobbies and expand globally.  

Brian and Bill

We call Courtyard our "power" brand.  Brian Orakpo fits that description as an NFL player.  

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.   



Enter Courtyard’s Great NFL Road Tour Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVI and many other great opportunities. 


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Incredible India

Posted:11/02/201110:18 PM

India is truly an incredible country.  There’s something old and something new everywhere you turn.  It’s experiencing tremendous growth and our hotels are right in the middle of it. 

Most people’s impressions of India are not nearly as up to date as the changes taking place there.  They may have been formed in school while watching a long, boring documentary.

In an attempt to dispel some myths and stereotypes, our Indian associates took to the streets and produced their own mini-documentaries.  The things they do and the places they go … well, let’s just say they know where to have fun.


This “local knowledge” is important to our guests.  After checking in, guests want to know the top restaurant or the best yoga class.

So meet our talented, knowledgeable local hotel associates as they take you on a tour across the country to see their new India.  You’ll learn why the country’s tourism slogan fits:  “Incredible India.”

Click on the links below to view the grand openings of our newest hotels –Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre and the Marriott Jaipur Hotel.  We’ll have many more hotel openings in the next few years.

Leave a comment.  I’d like to hear about your favorite India video or destination.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre

Jaipur Marriott Hotel 


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The Art of Style at SpringHill Suites

Posted:10/13/2011 4:36 PM

In 1998, we launched a brand designed for the traveler looking for more space and a sense of style.  That brand was SpringHill Suites.  Now, we’ve taken it a step further. 

When you think of space and style, what comes to mind?  To me, it’s art galleries. 

For the last two years, SpringHill Suites has held ArtNight.  Our lobbies turn into galleries filled with works from local artists.  From photography to cartoon drawings, glass sculptures to air brushed motorcycles, the artwork has been sensational. 

Embracing the local arts has not only strengthened our ties within our communities, but also enhanced our guests’ experience, giving them a real taste of the local art scene.  You can view some ArtNight pictures and video on SpringHill's new facebook page.


With all this talent at our hotels, we’re asking artists -- expert or amateur – to design a special edition hotel key card.  The winning submission will be featured on key cards next year at SpringHill’s nearly 300 hotels.  Key cards have high visibility, so be creative.  I only hope our guests will turn them in when they leave.

Anyone 18 years of age or older can submit their key card at  Deadline is November 1st.

We’re already seeing some awesome entries.  I’ll post the winning entry along with other finalists.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

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Booking with Marriott While on the Move

Posted:09/29/201112:37 PM

In 1957, when we opened our very first hotel, the Marriott Twin Bridges, families were just starting to drive long distances on Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway.  It was a great system and really changed America. 

Our Twin Bridges Motor Hotel was located outside Washington, D.C. and it featured a drive-through front office.  It made for quick and easy check-ins.  Guests were able to be guided to their rooms by boys on bicycles and then able to park very close to their room – a real convenience, especially for large families.

Recognizing travel trends is vital to staying competitive and giving our customers what they want.  But no area has changed as much as the reservations area.  It’s online and it’s increasingly mobile.  Our new mobile app – designed for devices like iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry – is receiving great reviews.

About 400,000 people have already downloaded it.  Within days of being launched, it was ranked the fourth most popular free app on Apple’s iTunes and the most popular travel app.

Our e-Commerce team has created a hit!  Unlike some other hotel companies that have one app per brand, Marriott’s app lets you search for more than 3,600 hotels among 13 brands in 71 countries.  It also finds nearby hotels using GPS. 

When we first opened hotels like Twin Bridges, no one envisioned making a reservation this way.  It’s never been so easy.

So, download the app that we linked below and leave a comment letting us know what you think.

Oh, by the way, you can still book a room by calling a reservationist or by stopping by the front desk.  Some things will never change.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

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Download the Marriott app for iPhone

Download the Marriott app for Android

Download the Marriott app for BlackBerry

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A Virtual Lobby Tour

Posted:08/15/201110:44 AM


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A lot has changed since we built our first hotel in 1957.  I remember physically moving furniture to decide the right spot.  We didn’t have a lot of choices on fabrics and designs. Now, we can design lobbies and rooms by using  “virtual” showrooms.  The hammer and the nail have given way to a mouse and monitor.  It’s really high tech.

Click on the video and you’ll see what I mean.  

Walking through a virtual lobby takes a little getting used to.  Some of the furniture is real, some is not.  It’s like being on a movie set.  In fact, we are using movie animation software.  Our design team is like a “special effects” production unit.  They create giant printouts and add real furniture to give a 3D visualization. 

The visual impact allows our executive team to make changes.  With a click of the mouse, we’re able to change the wall color and carpet.  In a matter of months – not years - we can redesign our spaces and bring the latest styles and technologies to our guests.  

We’re certainly in a competitive business and it seems like it’s all about speed to market.  So, this summer check out our latest animated production coming to a Marriott hotel near you. 

I’m Bill Marriott and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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