Marriott International is tapping into the world’s top influencers to help shape and guide its evolution as an emerging leader in lifestyle hospitality. With an eye on identifying key trends and what inspires millennials and next generation consumers, the company hosted its first Cultural_Game_Changers_London thought leaders’ forum at the London EDITION.
The forum was chaired by Bronwyn Cosgrave, best-selling author, curator and cultural commentator, who led an insightful discussion with a broad cross-section of lifestyle influencers, including James Gay-Rees, producer of Amy, the extraordinary documentary of six-time Grammy winner, Amy Winehouse; Lisa Markwell, the Independent on Sunday’s editor; Serge Dive, founder and CEO of Beyond Luxury Media and LE Miami, as well as George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, Founders and Chief Creative Officers of the international design firm, Yabu Pushelberg.
“We are excited to join forces with these remarkable global thought leaders who are working at the forefront of art, design, film, travel and media. Creating a forum for these influencers to share their ideas has significantly helped us shape our thinking around how we design and create experiences, that enrich the guest stay and their entire journey,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Officer, Luxury and Lifestyle Brands. “With our established brands such as Renaissance and Autograph Collection and newer brands like Moxy and EDITION, we see tremendous opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with next gen travelers and grow our lifestyle portfolio,” Edmundson added.
The inaugural Cultural_Game_Changers_London forum also took an in-depth look at the new age of storytelling, and how it informs hotel design, experiential travel and the next generation’s mindset – millennials and next gen travelers are expected to account for more than 60 percent of Marriott’s business over the next four years.
Yabu and Pushelberg explained how, as part of their design process, they create actual characters to experience new hotel spaces – a process they applied to Marriott’s Moxy Hotels brand. Moxy is shaking up traditional hospitality with a fresh approach tailored for millennial travelers or the young at heart, that offers fun, edgy, design and affordability, all with a youthful spirit. Moxy Hotels has openings slated for major metropolitan locations in the U.S., including New York City (Chelsea, Mid-town and Lower Manhattan), San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans and Chicago, and in Europe in Munich, Frankfurt, Eschborn and London.
Referring to his recent documentary film productions, James Gay-Rees touched on the importance and responsibility of story telling in the context of the broader, cultural conversation, commenting, “We want to plug into the conversation with responsibility, and so we have to make something we believe in, and at the same time that’s relevant.”