Marriott to locate guests via mobile and offer deals

Marriott is now offering geo-targeted mobile offers to guests during their visit to a particular hotel. The new LocalPerks services are offered to Marriott Rewards members.

Participating Marriott hotels are using iBeacon technology to communicate with their guests' mobile devices and figure out where they are. They can then send push notifications about offers to the mobile device based on a guest's precise location within the property.

Marriott is also getting into the flash sale website business with the introduction of FlashPerks. Through FlashPerks, Rewards members can redeem points or use cash for limited-time, exclusive deals.

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Marriott is hoping the two programs will appeal to the tech-savvy Millennial traveler, whose purchasing power is rapidly rising. Millennial travelers typically like to stay constantly connected through social media and demand instant responses to their concerns or questions.

"(We're) taking aim at the next generation traveler and really making sure we're addressing their needs," Karin Timpone, global marketing officer for Marriott, told USA Today. "They like the instant gratification and encouragement along the way while they earn points."

The first property to introduce LocalPerks will be the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina, which is due to go live on 24 July, followed by the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront and the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa, reports NFC World.

To take advantage of LocalPerks, which launches July 24, guests have to download the Marriott Mobile Guest Services app from iTunes. It is compatible with the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Bluetooth Smart and Apple iBeacons are then able to determine their location. For now, the offers will be on services within the property, such as food and beverages, spa treatments or rounds of golf. But eventually, guests will get notifications of deals around the neighborhood.

Those who don't want the hotel to know their location can turn off their Bluetooth or disable push notifications. Or they can choose not to download the app.

The FlashPerks will be available in the USA starting July 17 at About 10 to 15 flash sales will be announced each week over 12 weeks. Each offer will last for a certain amount of time or until it sells out. An example of a deal would be 50 percent off executive suites at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, the world's tallest hotel, plus 20 percent off the spa and free access to the lounge.


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