Above: Mixed-use development project with floors designated for transient hotel use, for timeshares and the uppermost high-end floors reserved for fractional ownership.
The project above illustrates how the hospitality landscape is evolving. Marriott has many years of management experience in lodging and timeshare. With the acquisition of Ritz-Carlton, Marriott gained additional expertise in fractional ownership. Some of these concepts may be unfamiliar turf, but I am confident that Elite can excel in 'quick study'.
Although Marriott reported mixed financial results and setbacks in fractional ownership, the 3rd Qtr 2010 Report is positive with a promising pipeline of new development and conversions on the horizon. Although MVC owner comments at Marriott-on-the-Move about the new Destination Club and Vacation Points program highlight perceived and real hurdles, Marriott reports that 22,000 existing owners enrolled and an undisclosed number purchased new product (vacation points).
Summing up Marriott's 2011 Outlook and beyond, managing hospitality is more than managing transient accomodations. Investor expectations focus on significant financial gain from mixed-use development projects. While you may feel free to pose your own, to jumpstart discussion, here are two questions:
When and how will this evolution impact Elite specifically and loyalty programs in general?
Will Elite benefits shrink or expand? What benefits do you expect from your loyalty to Marriott's brands?