MARRIOTT International and Grab are teaming up to integrate their services for consumers in South-east Asia across food delivery, payment and loyalty programmes among other things, both firms announced in a joint statement on Thursday.
This comes as hoteliers these days are increasingly looking for new ways to prop up their earnings amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under a memorandum of understanding inked between both parties, Marriott will have access to Grab's customer base via GrabFood, GrabPay and GrabAds, enabling the hotelier to serve a "growing pool of customers who are increasingly transacting online", the companies said.
From November onwards, GrabFood customers will progressively be able to order food delivery from about 600 different food and beverage (F&B) outlets across Marriott hotels. This will be available in phases in six South-east Asian markets - namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In addition, consumers will be able to use GrabPay to foot their dining bills at selected Marriott hotels, starting with a pilot in Singapore in the first quarter next year. According to both companies, F&B outlets based in Marriott hotels that accept GrabPay can soon access Grab’s merchant discovery feature to notify guests and Grab users in the vicinity about ongoing promotions and events.
The latest partnership will also see both firms link their loyalty programmes, such that GrabRewards points can be converted to Marriott Bonvoy points and vice versa. Once in place, Grab customers will be able to redeem their converted points for member benefits at over 7,400 hotels and resorts in 135 countries and territories, the firms noted.
Lastly, Grab and Marriott will work together on marketing campaigns. "With GrabAds' solutions, Marriott International can connect with customers in a targeted way through audience data, integrate marketing communications across touchpoints, and track campaign performance in real time," the firms said.
Separately, The Business Times (BT) reported this week that more hotels are jumping on the staycation bandwagon, in the hope that the year-end peak season and the gradual easing of restrictions would allow them to better ride through their biggest crisis in recent history.
To keep rooms occupied, some hotels are rolling out attractive deals to woo holiday-starved guests, while others continue to be used as quarantine or stay-home notice facilities.
Earlier this month, BT also reported that hotels have moved to selling flexible workspace in recent months for employees not yet able to head back to the office. Hotel operators told BT that they have seen a good take-up for their work-from-hotel packages, though such offers may be only a temporary fix.