By continually innovating, we provide travel consumers with the online products, services and amenities that in turn have fueled Marriott.com's growth. The enhancements we are announcing today will sustain that growth and the increasing consumer popularity of Marriott.com.
Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) December 8, 2006
Today Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) is announcing sweeping consumer hotel reservations enhancements to Marriott.com. The company also expects Marriott.com to shatter its revenue record by generating nearly $4 billion in gross hotel -- level sales across Marriott's 2,800 property system this year. With the anticipated gross revenue growth of more than 38 percent in 2006, Marriott.com will have doubled in size in just two years.
"Marriott.com, which is already the largest hotel company web site, now firmly ranks as one of the biggest Internet consumer retail sites, as well," says Amy McPherson, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, Marriott International. "By continually innovating, we provide travel consumers with the online products, services and amenities that in turn have fueled Marriott.com's growth. The enhancements we are announcing today will sustain that growth and the increasing consumer popularity of Marriott.com."
Hotel company web sites have traditionally done a great job serving business travelers, who know where they need to be and when they need to be there. However, most leisure travelers have more schedule flexibility and typically begin vacation planning by extensive research into destinations and lodging options, but this has often been difficult to do on hotel web sites -- until now.
Launch of Innovative Keyword Search, Clickable Filters, Up-To-Date Worldwide Destination Information
The half-million daily visitors to Marriott.com now have a new faster and easier search option before making hotel reservations, using keywords and clickable filters. It is the most comprehensive search-and-find functionality in the lodging industry. Visitors to Marriott.com can begin by either typing in their destination as usual, or by clicking on the new "Keyword Search" tab on the home page and typing in a word or string of words, for example:
•Hotel name (e.g., "Doral," "Eden Roc")
•Region (e.g., "Caribbean")
•Attractions (e.g., "Empire State Building," "Buckingham Palace" )
•Activities (e.g., "golf," "spa")
•Amenity (e.g., "free breakfast")
The customer's search results will now also feature Marriott.com's new clickable filters, which help travelers to much more quickly narrow down and choose their desired hotel by amenities, activities, nearby attractions, Marriott brands and more.
After they have found their destination and make a hotel reservation, visitors can plan activities for their vacation using the new Destinations section, which features continually updated city guides and local information about thousands of concerts, exhibits, festivals, theater, shopping, sporting events, family activities, restaurants and nightlife for 600 destinations worldwide (soon to be expanded to 1,900). For example, travelers can make plans for the Taste of Chicago from July 2 -- 6, Fleet Week in New York beginning May 1, or make arrangements to visit London before January 7, 2007 when Leonardo da Vinci: Experiment, Experience and Design closes at the Victoria and Albert Museum. With just a click, visitors can then conveniently plot these local activities on a print-and-go map that they can carry with them on the road.
When Marriott.com initially tested the new search features, 90 percent of travelers surveyed said it was "better" compared to other travel web sites they typically use. Further, of those surveyed, nearly 60 percent said they would be more likely to make a hotel reservation on Marriott.com because of the new options. Visitors to most other hotel web sites still have no option but to search the traditional way using location and date. To learn more about the new consumer features on Marriott.com, take the tour at http://marriott.com/tour.
The new search and Destinations features are just a few of the guest service enhancements to Marriott.com under the company's Spirit To Serve Our Guests strategy, which also include:
•Comparing and booking air travel with over 60 carriers, or reserving a car with most major providers;
•The ability for travelers to create their own travel packages;
•A new "Deals" section to help guests to more easily find special offers;
•Transparent pricing that shows guests the total price of a room -- including taxes and fees -- before they book; and
•Tours of tens of thousands of hotel and resort photographs.
As always, Marriott's Look No Further® Best Rate Guarantee assures travelers that they are getting the best available rate when they book directly with Marriott, whether it is on Marriott.com, calling the toll-free reservations line or contacting the hotel directly.
Note: The forecast of Marriott.com 2006 gross revenue contained in this press release is a "forward-looking statement" within the meaning of federal securities laws, and is not a historical fact. We caution you that this statement is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the continuation of the current growth environment in both the economy and the lodging industry; and other matters referred to in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q under the heading "Risks Factors", any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the statements herein. This statement is made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise this or any other forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 2,800 lodging properties in the United States and 67 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club International, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers and golf courses. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and had approximately 143,000 employees at 2005 year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industry's most admired company and one of the best places to work for by FORTUNE®. The company is also a 2006 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Partner. In fiscal year 2005, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $11.6 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at http://www.marriott.com.
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