By “taking a ride” on Marriott.com, customers can request driving directions and locate 2,200 Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) hotels along the route. With long weekend trips and driving vacations on the rise this summer, Marriott.com visitors have already used the maps and driving directions more than 13.5 million times this year, an average of 2.2 million times per month.
According to the Travel Industry Association of America, total pleasure travel volume will increase this summer, with more short, spontaneous pleasure trips. “Close to 85 percent of pleasure travel will take place by motor vehicle, up nearly 3 percent this summer,” says Dr. Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research, Travel Industry Association of America.
Marriott.com’s premiere driving directions and route planner, powered by Vicinity Corporation, are useful for brief weekend getaways or travel across multiple states. Just select “along a route” on the Marriott.com homepage and enter your current location and desired destination. An easy-to-read map with simple driving directions will appear. Choose “show me hotels along my route,” and all Marriott hotels will be identified on the map. You may instantly make reservations at any of these hotels with availability.
“The user-friendly maps and driving directions help travelers plan ahead, giving them more productive and enjoyable trips,” says Debbie McGrath, vice president of e-commerce operations and sales, Marriott International, Inc.
While on the road, customers can also look up detailed information about more than 60 major cities on Marriott.com. Suggestions on dining, nightlife, shopping, sightseeing and travel tips are available, provided by Fodor’s Travel Publications. With the “business and attraction locator,” you can find nearby restaurants, theaters, dry cleaners and other businesses, and get driving instructions from your hotel.
For customers looking for great rates for weekend travel, check out Marriott’s new Escape!SM packages available at Marriott.com/escape. In addition to overnight accommodations, packages may include tickets to sports events, theme parks or the theater, shopping gift certificates, a round of golf or world-class spa treatments. Between now and Sept. 2, 2002, guests of participating Marriott and Renaissance hotels in the United States and Canada will receive a special $25 per night, per room hotel dining credit when they book and pay for a Marriott Escape! package with an American Express® Card.
Rates on Marriott.com are generated directly from Marriott International’s central reservation system and are also available through the company’s toll-free reservation number, travel agents and by calling a hotel directly. More than three-quarters of Marriott’s total internet bookings are generated through Marriott.com, which booked more than five million room nights last year.