Marriott’s lifestyle brands are taking a disproportionate market share compared with its classic brands, according to the hotel giant’s global leader for lifestyle brands, Toni Stoeckl.
“All these brands are obviously newer and therefore have a smaller distribution but the pipeline is extraordinary because we see much more interest and the growth percentage is certainly disproportionate,” Stoeckl told Travel Weekly.
“We’ll almost double the size of the distinctive brands in the next two years.”
Stoeckl is visiting Australia to check in on the newly opened Element hotel in Richmond, Melbourne, marking the brand’s entrance to the Australian market.
“The property has already reached high 90s occupancy rate in the last week and it’s just over a month old. That’s very exciting for a new brand,” he said.
You know the brands, Moxy, Aloft, AC Hotels and Element, although you may not have seen them down under just yet. But that’s about to change.
According to Stoeckl, Marriott has done a ton of research into what modern hotel consumers want, and lifestyle hotels are very much in.
“We did a tremendous amount of research to understand what consumers want these days, how do we appeal to them when we travel, and we build these lifestyle brands in order to appeal to a very specific typographic, not just a demographic,” he told us.
“What really sets them [the lifestyle brands] apart is they have a distinctive view on travel compared to our classic brand offering. They are about attuning to a very specific type of travel based on their behaviours and their attitudes.
“They want to select experiences to be more interesting as individuals and collect more interesting stories to tell on social media or when they get home. That’s really a currency for them.”
Stoeckl also emphasised the lifestyle brands focus on using technology to make a seamless experience, not to erase human touches.
“Technology is about allowing us to make the transaction side of a guest’s stay much more seamless,” he said.
“So allowing you to use your phone as a room key, allowing you to stream cast your own content on your device and watch it in your room.
“All those things make the transactional part of the hotel experience easier so we can focus on the fun part like making you a delicious drink or having a local musician come in.”
We already have Aloft in Perth, and now an Element in Melbourne, plus a Moxy coming to South Yarra in 2021, so what’s next on the lifestyle front? Stoeckl told us Marriott’s newly acquired AC Hotels will be hitting Melbourne in the next few years.