Magazines and in-app communication to promote Marriott's welcome-back discounts

Sheraton Hotel, Hyderabad receives positive response from people

NEW DELHI: The Covid2019 pandemic has led to many businesses within the country shut their shops completely, including the $22billion hotel industry. For the past two months, with stringent travel restrictions in place, the industry faced clumps of losses. However, as the lockdown starts easing, the players are slowly prepping to get back on their feet.

Recently, US-based Marriott International announced the launch of an interesting deal as a welcome-back offer curated specially for South Asian countries including Asia, under which people can make the hotel bookings now within the month of June, choosing between three different complimentary offers, and avail them any time by June 2021. They will be able to save 30 per cent and above on these bookings.

Sheraton Hyderabad GM Vikas Sharma told that it is an initiative by the hotel chain to get the cash flowing within the hotels. He said that just within five days of the announcement of the offer, his hotel has already received bookings for 50 room nights.

“In fact, the whole Marriott chain has been receiving queries and bookings. People have reacted to it pretty well,” Sharma added.

Most of the bookings received are for the month of June and July 2020. “My hotel is an area where most bookings are made for business purposes. However, another trend that I am seeing is people booking the hotel for staycations.”

Marriott is also preparing all its hotels to ensure complete safety for its team members and guests and has been ensuring proper sanitisation of the spaces, and introducing touch-free options for facilities like check-in, bill payments, and food & dining experience, etc.

“The hotels have been working with partners like Ecolabs and Diversey to get the best sanitisation practices in place. We have stringent quality control over each other product that will be used in our hotel, as well,” Sharma said.

Marriott is also working on in-house technologies to provide keyless check-in to its guests using QR codes and innovating to introduce maximum touch-less experience at shared spaces like elevators.

The hotel chain is looking at utilising print media, like magazines, personalised communication to its patrons, and in-app notifications on its Bonvoy platform to communicate about this offer. Sharma added that they are also looking forward to a lot of word-of-mouth publicity about the offer.

While he is expecting a positive response to the discount and thinks people will soon start travelling for business and staycation purposes, he believes that it won’t be before the first quarter of CY2021 that the industry will be able to get back on its feet.

“I have at least 75 per cent occupancy at my hotel in this time period (June-July) and I will consider myself lucky if we manage to get even 25 per cent this time. The industry will take some time to get back to normal,” Sharma concluded.

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