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Marriott (MAR) Boosts Digital Offerings With New Pilot Program

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In a bid to boost its service offerings amid the ongoing pandemic, Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Free Report) recently announced the launch of a pilot program for contactless arrival kiosks at several select-service hotels. It also unveiled a proof-of-concept for contactless grab-and-go marketplaces at two Fairfield by Marriott hotels. Following the announcements, shares of the company moved up 1.8% during trading hours on Apr 5.

Notably, the initiative reinforces the company’s Commitment to Clean initiative and will boost travellers’ confidence amid the pandemic. Also, it is backed by the idea of providing options that limits in-person service offerings. Nonetheless, the company enhanced features like mobile check-in and checkout, mobile key, mobile dining and mobile requests.

In case of contactless arrival kiosks, guests can check-in through a three-step process with room keys created on the spot. Notably, the kiosks employ antimicrobial technology baked into the touchscreen glass, powered by UV light to kill bacteria and viruses. It also provides guests with contactless check-out facility with the option of viewing their folio and enrolling in the Marriott Bonvoy travel program any time.

Meanwhile, the contactless grab-and-go concept represents wall-to-wall kiosks that offer a centralized marketplace where guests can select snacks, beverages, lite bites and sundries. It also offers expanded a-la-carte items available for purchase with contact-free Bluetooth payment facility.

Going forward, the company expects these technologies to streamline operations with increased efficiency, thereby improving the level of guest engagement.

In this regard, Stephanie Linnartz, president of Marriott International, stated, “The new offerings are an added benefit to the personalized hospitality we are known for, and we look forward to enhancing our customer experience by blending contactless services with dedicated in-person interactions."

Price Performance

Shares of Marriott have gained 14.4% so far this year compared with the industry’s 13% growth. Notably, the company is benefitting from continuous focus on expansion initiatives, digital innovation and loyalty program. Also, the company is witnessing improvement in occupancy and new bookings in Mainland China. Additionally, businesses are picking up. Earnings estimates for 2022 have moved up in the past 60 days, depicting analysts’ optimism regarding the stock’s growth potential

Marriott — which shares space with Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT - Free Report) , Extended Stay America, Inc. (STAY - Free Report) and Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Free Report) in the Zacks Hotels and Motels industry — has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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