This year is anticipated to be a strong year for Marriott Bonvoy in Singapore, Malaysia and the Maldives, with forward bookings for all three markets reflecting the return of solid demand for travel.
Rivero Delgado Ramos, Marriott International area vice-president for Singapore, Malaysia and Maldives, shared in an email response: “The opening of our latest hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Melaka, earlier this month is a milestone for several reasons – it is our third Courtyard hotel and the 40th property in Malaysia, as well as the debut of Marriott International in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka.”
She added that strategic sales and marketing plans continue to drive and stimulate demand to the three countries under her portfolio, keeping them top-of-mind for consumers and travellers.
Sharing why Marriott Bonvoy finds it more effective to connect directly with its guests through social media platforms, Ramos said: “Social media allows us to not draw attention to ourselves, but to see our guests in their own spotlight. We create user-generated content to capture the millennials’ and Gen Z’s attention as they are more spontaneous and do not buy into old-fashioned travel norms.”
With the reopening of China’s borders and its people travelling abroad, China remains a top source market for Singapore, Malaysia and the Maldives.
Ramos noted: “We are already seeing an increase of Chinese guests at our hotels and this is expected to increase as flight frequencies improve and travel costs return closer to pre-pandemic levels. We expect the coming Labour Day in May and Golden Week in October to be especially robust.”
On post-lockdown leisure travel trends in Malaysia, Singapore and the Maldives, Ramos revealed that Marriott Bonvoy is seeing an enhanced demand for personalised, luxury travel experiences and meaningful travel experiences – more travellers are also looking for sustainable offerings.
“Marriott Bonvoy has embarked on a journey to sustainability and have implemented a few ways to facilitate this – starting with food and beverage offerings at selected hotels. It is not just in production or minimising food wastage, but also through avoiding non-environmentally-friendly packaging,” she explained.
Marriott Bonvoy is working towards ensuring that by 2025, it will locally source 50 per cent of all produce, in aggregate, across its portfolio.
In addition, Ramos noted the growing demand for wellness-focused travel experiences such as yoga retreats, meditation classes, and spas to relax and rejuvenate.
As for the trend of remote work, or “workation”, Ramos believes it will continue to gain momentum throughout 2023. She said: “Countries like Malaysia – which have recently introduced a digital nomad visa welcoming digital professionals to work in the country for up to a year – are likely to see an increase in digital nomads.”
She added that the increase of multi-generational travel has also resulted in increased demand for suites and villas, particularly in destinations where private plunge pools are available, so guests can enjoy the exclusivity of a private getaway.