The newly launched initiative aims to deliver meaningful travel experiences for guests at Marriott International hotels across the Asia-Pacific region.
At a virtual press conference this afternoon, hospitality giant Marriott International unveiled Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy, a program for holidaymakers who have grown increasingly conscious about their impact on the places they visit. “People are choosing more carefully [about where they travel] and choosing to do good,” said Bart Buiring, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Marriott International’s Asia-Pacific division. “They want to create positive change, and are more socially aware.”
The initiative also builds on existing principles that underpin Serve 360, the group’s sustainability and social impact platform. Based on the three pillars of environmental protection, community engagement, and marine conservation, Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy is aimed at shifting the way vacations are perceived from pure leisure to creating a positive impact on local communities, while allowing guests to forge deeper connections with places and their people.
So far, Marriott International has identified 15 hotels around the Asia-Pacific region as pilot properties for the program. These include W Bali – Seminyak; The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa; JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Thailand; The Sanya Edition; and Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. The hope is to expand Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy to other leisure destinations over time and offer a wider range of purpose-driven experiences.
One example? In the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, families staying at JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa can pitch in to help the environment through the Implant Nature program. As the resort’s General Manager Sachin Mylavarapu explained, “We encourage our guests to plant saplings to control topsoil erosion, which is a very big problem in the lower Himalayas and Garhwal ranges.” Mylavarapu went on to explain that up to four families will be able to take part on a daily basis, with guests free to choose a name for the particular sapling. Every six months to a year, pictures will be sent to participating families let them keep track of the growth of their plant.
A similar conservation-minded activity is offered at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, where travelers are welcome to join a coral propagation program under the guidance of resident marine biologist Amelie Carraut, from locally based marine consultancy Reefscapers. Coral fragments are tied onto pyramidal sand-covered metal frames (made on an island in the Baa Atoll) before being sunk at the house reef, and vacationers can adopt their own coral frame to ensure a lasting connection with the ocean even after they return home. “We post regular photo updates of their frames on Reefscapers’ website, allowing them to watch their coral grow and flourish over many years,” said Carraut.
Other Good Travel experiences include beach cleanups in Busan and Sanya; watching a Cantonese opera performance in Guangzhou and getting a personal feel for the art through an opera class; and preparing meals in Bali that will be delivered to the island’s neediest residents. It’s useful to point out that Marriott isn’t starting the program from scratch. “Some of these experiences have been in place for a while, but we are creating an umbrella and it is easier for guests to identify and search for them, Buiring added. “We think the time is right for us to launch this program … so people can have a more meaningful vacation with an element of giving back.”
The full list of participating hotels is as follows:
|China (Mainland)||JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Shanghai Pudong|
|Sheraton Grand Zhengzhou Hotel|
|The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing|
|The Sanya Edition|
|Fiji||Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay|
|The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji|
|Hong Kong||Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung|
|India||JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa|
|Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway|
|Indonesia||W Bali – Seminyak|
|Japan||The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa|
|Maldives||Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa|
|South Korea||Fairfield by Marriott Busan Songdo Beach|
|Thailand||JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa|
Visit marriottbonvoyasia.com/goodtravel for more information.