Marriott officially checks into home-sharing business

Marriott International is entering into the vacation rentals space with the launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International, a home rental initiative offering 2,000 premium and luxury homes located in over 100 destinations throughout the US, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

“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.”

Champagne Shores villa, Anguilla Beaches

Marriott revealed that its expansion into home rentals comes on the heels of its successful pilot under the brand extension Tribute Portfolio Homes. Nearly 90 per cent of the guests who booked a home during the pilot, which was only available in select European cities, were members of Marriott Bonvoy and over three-quarters were travelling for leisure with family and friends. During the pilot, the average guest stay was more than triple the typical hotel stay.

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.

Marriott is launching Homes & Villas by Marriott International with select property management companies that are already managing these homes. 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.”

Starting next week, travellers can search and book homes on the Homes & Villas by Marriott International site. At that time, travellers searching on Marriott’s website 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.

Earlier, Marriott finalised new, multi-year agreement with the Expedia Group, which the two say will result in “an innovative distribution agreement beyond transient retail bookings”. The new arrangement is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of the year.

When Homes & Villas launches next week, members of Marriott Bonvoy will be able to earn and redeem points at these homes, with criteria as follows:

– Members will earn points based on the same criteria as Marriott’s long-stay hotel brands – five points for each $1 spent
– Members will be eligible for Bonus points based on Elite status
– Eligible members will receive an Elite Welcome Gift of special amenities or points
– Members can use the points they earn on redemption stays at all participating hotels around the world, as well as experiences exclusively available on Marriott Bonvoy Moments.

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