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Interview with Director of Loyalty for Marriott Canada about Partnership with PlacePass

Today, we feature Jennifer Bryl, Director of Loyalty for Canada, Marriott International, who would like to discuss its new partnership with PlacePass.

Jennifer Bryl, Director of Loyalty for Marriott Canada

1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

For Marriott International, I’m a loyalty driver who helps hotels understand the value of enrolling and recognizing new members so they can create exceptional and memorable experiences for our guests. Montreal is my favourite Canadian city (for the foodie in me) and I’m itching to visit Grand Okanagan!

2) Before we get started with today’s primary topic, one of my readers asked last time whether Marriott will mirror SPGs approach to lifetime status (years at level vs points and stays)?

I’m afraid we can’t share further details on the merging of the loyalty programs just yet, but we’ll be happy to share further details soon.

3) Now onto the main topic, what is PlacePass?

PlacePass is a leading provider of destination travel experiences and activities delivered on its online meta-search platform. When guests book direct, they will be able to choose from more than 100,000 travel experiences in 800 destinations worldwide. PlacePass offerings will complement Marriott’s two existing experiential travel platforms – Marriott Rewards Experiences Marketplace and SPG Moments.

Whether a traveler is looking for off-the-beaten path adventures, classic day trips, private VIP experiences, or just the best price on a museum ticket, PlacePass has options. Once an experience is identified, travelers click the deal and are taken over to the partner booking site where they can make their reservation directly.

4) So why did Marriott team up with PlacePass?

With our acquisition of Starwood, Marriott is uniquely positioned to give all guests – especially members of our loyalty programs – even more experiential travel opportunities around the world as they plan their trips. We know that more so than ever before, consumers are seeking out memorable experiences wherever they travel that are personalized for them. Last year, loyalty members redeemed points for 13,000 experiences on our platforms. In addition to our experiential travel platforms, we offer guests the broadest portfolio of hotels with 30 diverse global brands, more than 6,000 hotels, in 122 countries and territories, as well as the world’s largest collection of luxury properties.

We are innovating as we integrate with Starwood – especially when it comes to our award-winning loyalty programs.  Together, Marriott Rewards and SPG bring a shared legacy of embracing experiential travel personalized for our members offering them access to more of the things they love when they travel.  In the past, these have included tickets to Hamilton or exclusive members-only concerts with artists like Demi Lovato, DNCE and James Bay. Now we’re expanding these opportunities to all guests and members with PlacePass.

In addition, PlacePass has built a strong and scalable platform and business model. The leaderships is smart and strategic. They know the travel industry and technological landscape.

5) What should people be excited about in this partnership?

When we launch PlacePass’ offerings, travelers will have access to a wide array of destination experiences no matter their passion. Explore the filming locations for the hit series “Downton Abbey” on a VIP guided tour from London, including Highclere Castle and Bampton, the setting for Downton village, Wrestle with a retired sumo wrestler in Tokyo, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the history of Japan’s national sport. If you go to members.marriott.com, you’ll see a sampling of the experiences we will offer once the partnership launches.

6) More specifically, what should Canadians look forward to?

As our membership base grows because of our global portfolio and the experiential travel opportunities we provide, we’ll also attract more strategic partners to add to our roster of iconic partners like the NFL, Major League Baseball, Universal Music Group and AEG — enabling the company to deliver a fuller and richer travel experience.  This will enable us to offer our members exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as hanging out and having lunch with NFL Hall of Famers as part of VIP weekend at this year’s Super Bowl or throwing out the first pitch at the World Series.

In addition, PlacePass will offer a lot of great experiences in Canada including summer blobsled adventure in Calgary or a 2-hour guided rainforest hike on Vancouver Island.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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