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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May 1 Update: Etihad not an Aeroplan partner quite yet, Marriott entering the home rental market & more!



Yesterday was quite the Air Canada Aeroplan day on our site with six blog posts covering Air Canada and Aeroplan (and one more today to boot!) Two of those posts, the ones looking at Market Fare Rewards and Etihad becoming an Aeroplan partner stemmed from my visits to the Aeroplan site yesterday to find offer examples for the A look at how the current TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card sign up offer of up to 30,000 miles can provide huge value! post. If you visit the site regularily you'll know that on the bottom left hand side of the home page there is a section called 'Latest News'. I was surprised when I saw a couple of 'May 1' posts in the Latest News section seeing that it was April 30. Turns out this may have been a mistake on Aeroplan's side and those were removed sometime later. One of the pieces of the news, the More Value For Your Aeroplan Miles is now back on the Aeroplan site however the Etihad news is not. So if you are reading our Etihad post from yesterday you'll find the link now lands on a blank page on Aeroplan. The Etihad news seems legit but obviously it is not ready to be released just yet! I'm guessing it will come soon though now that the cat's out of the bag!


Yesterday Marriott announced a new initiative targeting airbnb, Homeaway and other home rental companies! Called Homes & Villas by Marriott International, the new Marriott 'brand' will challenge others in the space by being integrated into the Marriott Bonvoy program where members will be able to earn and redeem points for stays on these home rentals! Find out more here
Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) announced Homes & Villas by Marriott International, a home rental initiative offering 2,000 premium and luxury homes located in over 100 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Starting next week when the offering launches, we expect members of Marriott Bonvoy can earn and redeem points at these highly-curated homes, providing even more choice of accommodations that suit a range of travel needs around the world.
“The launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation as consumer travel needs evolve,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. “What started out as a pilot a year ago is now a global offering, providing our guests with the space and amenities of a home backed by a trusted travel company, and the very best in loyalty benefits.

Marriott’s expansion into home rentals was developed as a result of the 2018 pilot under the brand extension Tribute Portfolio Homes. Of the guests who booked a home during the pilot, which was only available in select European cities, nearly 90 percent were members of Marriott Bonvoy and over three-quarters were traveling for leisure with family and friends. During the pilot, the average guest stay was more than triple the typical hotel stay. These insights, along with Marriott’s commitment to providing travelers with unique and different accommodations including spacious homes with one or more bedrooms, large kitchens, in-unit laundry and more, played an important role in guiding the selection of luxury and premium homes, as well as the key leisure markets available at launch that complement the core offerings of Marriott’s hotel portfolio. 

Luxury & Premium Offerings
The introduction of Homes & Villas by Marriott International adds nearly 40 new leisure destinations for Marriott Bonvoy members to earn and redeem points, including Sorrento, Italy and the Amalfi Coast, Italy; North Lake Tahoe, California; and St. Barts in the Caribbean. This curated selection of homes aims to connect travelers to thousands of rental properties around the world and sets the stage for guests’ most treasured travel moments - home-cooked dinners with extended family, lawn games in the backyard or celebrating a milestone birthday with family and friends. Homes include:
  • A four-bedroom cottage on six private acres of California wine country.
  • A six bedroom villa in Sorrento, Italy with an infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and a wood-fire pizza oven.
  • An oceanfront villa in Anguilla with private beach and a personal butler and house staff.
  • A 18th century Irish Castle that sleeps 17 and features a private lake for boating and fishing.
  • A six-bedroom townhouse in London with a children’s playroom and climbing wall.
Marriott is launching Homes & Villas by Marriott International with select property management companies that are already managing these homes. These trusted property management companies provide guests a professionally cleaned home with 24/7 support, high speed Wi-Fi, premium linens and amenities, and family-friendly conveniences upon request. At launch, the property management companies selected by Marriott include TurnKey Vacation Rentals, LaCure, Loyd & Townsend Rose, Veeve, London Residents Club as well as current hotel owners and operators like Mainsail Lodging, and Reserva Conchal. Over time, Marriott expects to introduce Homes & Villas by Marriott International in additional markets as well as increase the number of homes offered in these launch destinations.

“Our approach to home rentals allows us to curate an incredible collection of homes that deliver an elevated travel experience,” said Jennifer Hsieh, Vice President, Homes & Villas by Marriott International. “By working with a select group of professional management companies that understand and operate in this dynamic landscape, we are able to focus on what we do best – selecting a breadth of homes in inspiring destinations, setting standards for responsive service and designing a seamless booking experience that helps our guests navigate an increasingly complex and uncertain set of home rental choices.”

How to Book
Starting next week, we expect travelers can search and book homes on the Homes & Villas by Marriott International site – www.homesandvillasbymarriott.com. At that time, travelers searching on Marriott.com for accommodations for three-plus nights in markets where home inventory exists will see links to Homes & Villas by Marriott International, promoting home rentals as an offering to meet their needs. Marriott is in the process of determining how it will sell Homes & Villas by Marriott International through other channels, including the Marriott Bonvoy app and travel advisors, and will provide an update in the near future. 

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