I am really having trouble figuring out Marriott's thinking when they are basically downgrading the importance of it's most loyal clients. It is getting increasingly difficult to try to use some of those points we have racked up doing business with Marriott for leisure vacations.. resorts are never available for just points and unless you want to stay in a Courtyard, you have to spend big $$ in order to get a room. And as for upgrades, which used to be automatic as long as it was available, we now are supposed to buy those too? I previously went to Hawaii three times using reward points and never paid a dime for my room. And each time I was upgraded to ocean front. Apparently this is a thing of the past.
I am a meeting planner and have used Marriott almost exclusively for many years. There are now other reward programs out there that are not nickle and dimeing those who are loyal. I would hate to move my business elsewhere but I really think Marriott needs to rethink what it is doing regarding Marriott Rewards. The economy isn't doing well and I think the travel industry as a whole is going to take a hit. The constant for the hotels will be the loyal faithful meeting planners who book events with you. It would be to your benefit to treat us right!
Based upon Marriott's new Meetings Matter Promotion, Marriott is reaching out to meeting planners to highlight 7 brands including the Marriott Vacation Club, an extraordinary new venue where your clients can host memorable events. In return for your business, Marriott will DOUBLE Marriott Rewards points up to 50,000 points.
I am certain that Bill Marriott and his executive staff will listen carefully to your concerns, and welcome your thoughtful suggestions about how to better align resources to respond to meeting planner needs. Do consider sharing your thoughts on Bill Marriott's recent blog, Meetings Mean Business and Jobs