With travelers increasingly aspiring to make a positive impact on the communities they visit whether locally or abroad, Marriott International launched Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy, a new program offering meaningful travel across Asia Pacific. Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, the experiences aim to create opportunities for guests to forge first-hand connections with local communities and the environment during their stay, promoting both cultural understanding and positive change.
Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy kicked off with a pilot program consisting of 15 hotels across Asia Pacific, offering curated purpose-driven experiences that focus on three distinct pillars: Environmental Protection which aims to support the resilience of the natural environment due to environmental degradation, pollution and climate change; Community Engagement which aims to create a positive impact in the communities where Marriott properties operate through cultural education or volunteerism, and Marine Conservation which aims to restore and preserve marine ecosystems and species.
From mangrove conservation in Fiji, coral transplanting and restoration in Okinawa and Maldives, beach cleanups in Sanya and Busan, to food distribution in Bali, Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy gives guests the opportunity to contribute meaningfully as they explore and build deeper connections in their local communities at home or as they venture overseas when travel resumes.
See also: Sustainable Travel Trend Post-COVID
“One of the growing trends we’re observing is how conscious guests are of their personal impact on the destinations they visit,” says Bart Buiring, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Marriott International Asia Pacific. “The launch of Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy aspires to shift the way vacations are perceived – from pure leisure to value-adding opportunities to learn more about the natural environment and forge new connections with the local community. Our ambition is to expand the program to most of our Asia Pacific leisure destinations over time, and be ready to welcome guests with meaningful travel experiences once travel returns.”
15 Hotels offering Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy Experiences
- Implant Nature at JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa in India invites guests to join the hotel’s afforestation initiative, helping conserve vital topsoil eroding from the Garhwal Range at the foothills of the Himalayas. The experience includes a walk with the hotel’s horticulture expert and planting saplings. Guests can name their sapling and receive a certificate of participation. Guests are then updated on a yearly basis on the progress of the area.
- A move towards a more eco-friendly stay at The Sanya EDITION in Sanya, China is a beach cleanup initiative in partnership with SEPA (Sanya Environmental Protection Association) that aims to reduce the impact of marine garbage on the island. Guests are invited to join the cleanup followed by a talk with SEPA at the hotel to learn more about keeping the environment clean.
- Understanding environmental protection through geological evolution at Sheraton Grand Zhengzhou Hotel in China invites guests to visit the Henan Geological Museum, one of the oldest museums in China with a vast collection of cultural and natural history relics including dinosaur bones and fossils. The experience includes an on-property lecture on concepts in environmental protection and the opportunity to handle and learn about fossils. Guests are also invited on a private tour of the museum with an immersive 4D movie experience. Fossils are important as they show us how life, landscapes, and climate have changed over time and how living things responded to those changes.
- ‘Bee-Together’ at Sheraton Tung Chung in Hong Kong works with Mui Wo Lychee Hill Holiday Farm to invite guests to experience what it’s like to be a ‘Beekeeper’ and learn about the importance of bees to biodiversity and their crucial role in maintaining ecological balance. In addition, guests will learn how honeycomb is collected and later incorporated into the hotel’s signature dishes and cocktails.
- Denarau Farm at the Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa in Fiji invites guests on a tour to a local farm to learn about the cultivation of organic fruits and vegetables which are used at the hotel. The farm is also a training centre for local farmers to learn about organic farming.
- Beach Clean Up at the Fairfield by Marriott Busan Songdo Beach in Busan, South Korea is an experience in partnership with the Pulmuone Foundation which aims to reduce the environmental impact of pollution resulting from tourism. Guests are invited to attend a talk on the severity and impact of marine pollution followed by a beach clean-up. Children joining the experience will receive a certificate of participation.
See also: 9 Wellness Trends for 2021
- Chanapura Adopted Village at Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, Bangalore in India is a rural village in the remote and inaccessible terrains of Chanapura that has been ‘adopted’ by the hotel in collaboration with Shree Sai Healing Trust. The hotel and its associates are supporting the village community with healthcare, water, sanitation, education, nutrition and energy needs. Guests are invited to visit the village with instructors and interact with the local Chanapura community on activities such as English lessons, drawing with children or learning about new sustainable initiatives together.
- Voice of Lingnan at W Guangzhou in China offers guests an immersion into the cultural spirit of Lingnan and into Cantonese Opera, the sole cultural heritage of the Guangdong Province of China and included in UNESCO’s World Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Guests are invited on a private tour of the Lychee Bay Scenic Area and the museum of Cantonese Opera, with a taste of Cantonese delicacies. At the hotel, guests may experience traditional paper cutting, and attend opera classes which offers an insight into the distinctive song, music, movement, costume and make-up of Cantonese Opera.
- Yunjin Brocade Discovery at The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing in China invites guests to the Jiangning Imperial Silk Manufacturing Museum where they can learn about the history of the Yunyin brocade. Inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, weaving Nanjing Yunjin brocade produces textiles incorporating fine materials such as silk, gold and peacock feather yarn that were once used for royal garments. As they work, the weavers sing mnemonic ballads that remind them of the techniques they employ and enhance the cooperative, artistic atmosphere at the loom. Guests are invited to join a hands-on hotel Yunjin brocade craftsmen workshop in partner with a local Yunjin Brocade Studio.
- Bakery with Love at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Shanghai Pudong in China invites guests to visit the Shanghai Pudong New District Special Education School, the only comprehensive special education school integrating education for children with disabilities in Shanghai. Guests are invited to put on their aprons to bake ‘lucky cookies’ for the children, and also spend quality time at the school interacting, reading, or painting with the children.
- Food for Thought at W Bali, Seminyak in Indonesia offers guests a perspective on the circular economy and how food waste can be used for good. The hotel partners with Scholars of Sustenance (SOS) on a regular food donation initiative that delivers surplus food to local organizations such as orphanages, foundations, churches and other community enterprises in need. Guests work with hotel staff to prepare nutritious meals from leftover food and unused ingredients that is then delivered to those in need across Bali.
See also: 9 Sustainable Swimwear Brands
- Coral Planting at The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa in Japan. Deteriorating conditions in the oceans surrounding Okinawa has resulted in coral bleaching and the death of coral over the years. Coral Planting offers guests the opportunity to learn about coral seeding, a coral reef restoration method. The experience includes a lecture on coral ecology followed by hands-on coral seeding in the lagoon. Following the workshop, guests will receive email updates from the hotel with photos of the coral they’ve planted.
- Adopt a Coral at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa invites guests to participate in the coral-fragment plantation activity in an effort to promote reef habitats and generate new coral. The resort has teamed up with Reefscapers, a coral propagation organization appointed by the Maldivian Government as custodians of the coral colonies in the Gulhi Falhu lagoon which was slated to be destroyed as part of a reclamation project. The activity is led by experts and offers a hands-on experience to participants while also providing an alternative business to the 250 inhabitants whose sole previous source of employment was fishing.
- Turtle Shelter at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa in Thailand invites guests to join a tour of the turtle shelter located within the premises of the hotel, which is part of the National Reserve at Mai Khao Beach in collaboration with a dedicated Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation team. Guests will learn about sea turtles, environmental issues that impact their survival, and how to take care of turtles. In addition, a turtle release event is held once a year where around 40 turtles are released during the Songkran holidays.
- Mangrove Planting at Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay invites guests to participate in mangrove planting near the resort’s shoreline and marine areas. Mangroves are essential habitats that protect the coastline against tsunamis, hurricanes, and sea level changes; directly benefiting the adjacent reefs by exporting life-building carbon; and are the nursery areas for numerous marine organisms from crustaceans to sharks. Through the experience, in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries, guests can learn about the importance of maintaining and protecting Fiji’s delicate marine ecosystem