As work and leisure travel blend together, hospitality brands must adapt to this new landscape and evolve to meet shifting demands. Marriott International is leveraging its wide-ranging brand offerings for corporate and meeting customers, using its strength in technology, loyalty, service, and unique benefits to support today’s business travelers.

While leisure travel has driven industry recovery to date, Marriott International is expanding its focus on today’s new era of business travel as the line between work and recreation experiences continues to blur. With 30 brands and more than 8,000 properties globally, Marriott’s wide-ranging offerings and enhancements have positioned the brand to better serve corporate travelers and meeting attendees as business travel resumes and continues to redefine itself.

Through innovation and elevated service, Marriott seeks to lead the industry into the next chapter of corporate travel by anticipating emerging trends in the space, from “bleisure travel” to technology. SkiftX spoke with Julius Robinson, chief sales & marketing officer, U.S. and Canada for Marriott International, about how Marriott is adapting to the changing corporate and meeting segment, and its future growth strategy.

SkiftX: Many travelers are increasingly combining business and leisure trips. How has Marriott adapted the types of services it offers for this blended travel?

Julius Robinson: The idea of “bleisure travel” is no longer a trend — it is here to stay. From The Ritz-Carlton to Residence Inn, our 30 hotel brands are well equipped to cater to different lifestyles, leisure pursuits, and interests, while also meeting the needs of and supporting working professionals.

We have seen an uptick in the number of guests adding on a day or two to their business trip to enjoy hotel amenities or a new city while also easing their travel by, for example, taking advantage of lower flight costs midweek. To address this demand, we have invested in technology to make the guest experience more personal and convenient and empower hotels to cater to both leisure and business travelers.

For example, properties are enhancing amenities and programming for guests who might use a conference or meeting space during the week but are seeking a day at the tennis court or pool on the weekend. Even viral trends like pickleball are now part of our guest experience, with newly introduced courts at properties like The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa and JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

We’re also finding that groups want to socialize and connect with colleagues and friends through outdoor team-building options and entertainment and food and beverage activities. In response to this, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center recently opened an interactive 10,000-square-foot sports bar experience designed with the group customer in mind. Marriott also debuted a modernized look with extensive renovations at Sheraton properties in Canada that offer hybrid communal spaces for blending work and play, including Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Sheraton Laval Hotel and Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel.

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