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Marriott International and Cathay strengthen partnership to offer enhanced travel benefits

Marriott International and Cathay strengthen partnership to offer enhanced travel benefits

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Marriott International's travel programme, Marriott Bonvoy, has expanded its travel benefits through collaborating with Cathay Membership programme to create a seamless customer journey for their respective customers.

Starting from today, Cathay and Marriott Bonvoy members can enjoy an array of benefits such as two-way points transfer, hotel stay redemptions and enhanced flight and travel package experiences.

In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Paul Smitton (pictured second left), director customer lifestyle, Cathay, said it chose to partner with Marriott Bonvoy due to the global reach and extensive presence of the largest hotel chain. 

"By getting access to their elite status, our customers will be able to be treated as special customers when they're at the Marriott," Smitton said.

“For us, it’s across the broad. We are trying to do that wherever we can, how we make the product more match customer needs that we seek and take away the friction from the customer experience,” he added.

The strengthened partnership provides Marriott International with access to Cathay’s extensive membership base. 11 million Cathay members globally will be connected with an unparalleled portfolio of nearly 8,800 hotels and resorts globally, which span over 30 brands from Marriott Bonvoy. 

With the two-way conversion programme,  Marriott Bonvoy points can be mutually exchanged with Asia Miles from Cathay to unlock more exclusive member privileges. Marriott Bonvoy members can also transfer their points to miles and redeem flight tickets, extra baggage, and priority seats as well as other travel experiences when they travel with Cathay Pacific.

Furthermore, the partnership enables members to upgrade their status through accelerated and discounted pathways for a limited time. Members will also have the chance to status-match their Marriott Bonvoy and Cathay membership tiers and expand their access to exclusive benefits and offers.

Don't miss: Cathay’s in-flight dining partnerships: Can they drive ticket sales in the long run?

In terms of Cathay's marketing strategies for global outreach, Smitton said it revolves around a customer-centric approach. The focus is on how the airline looks at its customers, understands them better and designs products to match their specific needs.

“We have tried very hard to enhance the customer experience, for example, during the pandemic, we simplified the Cathay shop and created an eCommerce platform, in-flight shopping and digital shopping, as well as a partnership with Samsonite. There's a number of products that we're trying to launch to match our products and our customers' needs,” Smitton said.

Smitton added that Cathay is right at the heart of that it has an opportunity to help Hong Kong consumers, Greater Bay Area consumers, Chinese and global consumers coming to and through this platform.

“Strengthening our partnership with Marriott allows Cathay members to unlock benefits even when they’re not flying. Members can enjoy more ways to earn and redeem their points and miles, providing greater value added to the programme. This enhancement reaffirms our commitment to building our travel lifestyle brand and exemplifies our approach to delivering a connected customer journey." Smitton added. 

Alison Yang, vice president, revenue strategy, loyalty and partnerships, distribution, Greater China, Marriott International, said during an opening speech: “As the travel industry continues to transform, we are committed to curating and delivering the best experiences to connect our members through the power of travel.”

“Together with Cathay, the expansion of our global airline partnership programme presents an opportunity to engage more members in the region as they go even further and explore new destinations around the world. By unlocking a new wealth of rewards and privileges with both loyalty programmes, members are encouraged to partake in a broader variety of experiences and benefits, while forging genuine connections with people and places as they learn more and feel more deeply in their next adventures.”

Recently, Cathay has partnered with Samsonite to launch its first branded luggage collection. It includes carry-on suitcases, checked baggage and travel accessories. The partnership comes as Cathay recognises that when travellers are rushing through the airport, they need a travel companion that is lightweight, easy to manoeuvre, and effortlessly showcases their styles.

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