Marriott International has updated its cancellation policy as it seeks to encourage travellers into booking hotel rooms once the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is past.
For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, the company will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival.
Any change or cancellation must be made by June 30th.
The policy also includes reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive.
For guests making new reservations for any future arrival date, Marriott will allow the reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before a scheduled arrival date.
Again, the booking must be made before June 30th.
As part of an update from chief executive Arne Sorenson, Marriott also said it would recalibrate status and point offerings for Bonvoy loyalty members.
All status levels earned in 2019 will be extended to February 2022, while the expiration of points will be paused until February next year.
At that time, points will only expire if an account has been inactive for at least 24 months.
Sorensen said: “It has been three weeks since I last communicated with you about the dramatic impact of Covid-19 on our business.
“Sadly, since that time, we have all borne witness to how this insidious virus is impacting our families, our communities and our very way of life.
“What we’re facing is daunting, but I am heartened by the moments of triumph in everyday acts of courage, humanity and love.
“Although these are trying times for us all, I remain optimistic that our world will thrive once again.”
He added: “Given the unprecedented disruption to the travel industry, a number of our hotels have, unfortunately, had to close temporarily.
“Even as the hotels were shutting their doors, associates from New Delhi, India to Santos, Brazil, have found multiple ways to support the communities in which the hotels are located.
“The Riviera Marriott Hotel La Porte de Monaco and AC Hotel Nice, for example, donated all of their unused produce and food products to a local children’s charity, which provides housing and other services for endangered children.
“Many of our properties have contributed by providing food, pre-packed and cooked meals to crisis relief efforts and much-needed supplies like cleaning products, masks, gloves, anti-microbial wipes, sanitisers and shower caps for medical and other frontline workers.
“And in a beautiful sign of solidarity among us all, many of our teams have illuminated their hotel windows with symbols of love and messages of hope.”
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