The Skift New Luxury newsletter is our weekly newsletter focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.
In the same week that Airbnb launched its own dedicated luxury homesharing product, it was interesting to hear from a rival about its own adventures in high-end rentals.
Marriott has come at the market from the other side of the divide. As the largest hotel company in the world, it has been pretty cautious in its experimentation so far, only launching Homes & Villas by Marriott International after a substantial pilot.
Speaking at Skift Tech Forum last week, Stephanie Linnartz, the hotel giant’s global chief commercial officer, said one of the big drivers for getting involved in the first place was interest from members in its loyalty scheme. And Marriott estimates that about 90 percent of customers booking homes and villas through Marriott are Bonvoy members. That’s a significant number.
“We wanted to make Bonvoy stickier, deeper, richer, so it’s not surprising the bookings are mainly from loyalty,” Linnartz said.
How deep Marriott gets in the alternative accommodations sector will depend on the take-up over a sustained period of time, but for now the company seems pretty happy with how things are progressing.
— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor
7 Looks at Luxury
Guest Behavior Is Key Part of the Lux Hospitality Equation: Luxury travelers often deconstruct what goes into the makings of great hospitality. It’s also necessary, however, to ask what is required of guests so that they hold up their end of the bargain. It’s a two-way street, and all too often we ignore one side of the equation.
Marriott Exec: We Want to Be Involved in Travel Beyond 4 Walls of a Hotel: Marriott’s strategy for becoming part of a customer’s entire travel journey, from booking to checkout, is tied heavily to its Bonvoy loyalty program. The more kinds of products the company offers, the more likely it will get what it wants.
6 Big Travel Takeaways From Skift Tech Forum: The travel industry is obsessed with Big Data and artificial intelligence. The genie is out of the bottle. But the best way to use it will trigger an intense debate and much soul-searching.
Space Tourism Could Be the Ultimate Adventure Trip for Travel Advisors: With Virgin Galactic’s suborbital flights expected to begin at long last, space tourism could soon take off as a niche for travel advisors. Those already involved caution that it takes patience, training, and commitment.
Cruising’s Pollution Problem Won’t Be Solved Any Time Soon: Cruise ships are giant floating hotels with shopping malls and casinos inside. The industry has made progress on sustainability, but much more needs to be done as consumer habits shift toward more sustainable vacation options.
The Biggest Barrier to Supersonic Travel May Be Its Carbon Footprint: The race to achieve zero-emission aviation is on, but alongside it, companies like Boom are focused on bringing about a new era of supersonic travel. They may find that environmental concerns cancel out their lofty innovation.
Mexico’s Caribbean Beaches Fight a Losing Battle Against Seaweed: Environmental change will impact every destination in the coming years. For some it’s flooding, and for others it’s unbearable heatwaves. Here it’s seaweed.
Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.