Marriott International has released a comprehensive report titled, “How Marriott Is Changing The Landscape Of All-Inclusive Resorts,” these findings are supported by extensive research, including a consumer survey conducted by Maru/Blue, feedback from industry influencers, and the insights of Marriott’s executive leadership.
The report contains data points on what travel consumers are looking for as they emerge from the pandemic, how all-inclusive resorts are well-suited to meet that demand, and how Marriott’s unique combination of scale, expertise, focus on locally inspired guest experiences, and consumer appeal not only satisfies the needs of these travelers but redefines all-inclusive in the process.
Despite its relatively recent entry into the all-inclusive market, Marriott International has expanded its portfolio of all-inclusive resorts. It is positioned to reinvent the space through the introduction of several of its trusted brands, unique ability to deliver cultural experiences, and access to the over 150-million-member Marriott Bonvoy community.
Following the 2019 acquisition of Elegant Hotels, Marriott International announced a long-term agreement with Sunwing Travel Group’s hotel division, Blue Diamond Resorts in February 2021, whose portfolio of resorts extends across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. The addition of 21 Blue Diamond properties has tripled Marriott’s all-inclusive footprint and brings new opportunities to travelers and Bonvoy members. The agreement has propelled Marriott into the list of top 10 global all-inclusive players, by adding over 7,000 rooms across eight destinations and more than doubling the company’s presence in the all-inclusive segment to over 30 properties by 2025. With this partnership and additional openings in the pipeline, Marriott is expanding its presence in a sector that had been rapidly accelerating even before the pandemic. This growth in preference is expected only to rise as travelers venture back to the skies.
Key takeaways from Marriott’s research include that more than half of the 1,515 adults surveyed (54 percent) said that they are likely to consider an all-inclusive resort for their next vacation. The concept is even more appealing to the younger generation, with 70 percent of those aged 18 to 34 stating that they would consider all-inclusive (versus 58 percent of those aged 35 to 54)—a sign that the concept’s popularity is likely to continue expanding in the years to come. Additionally, almost two thirds of respondents (64 percent) ranked “new and unique cultural experiences” as one of the most important features when considering an all-inclusive. All these statistics strongly support Marriott’s expansion in the market, particularly the desire for new and unique cultural experiences as this is a hallmark of many of its globally recognized brands.
In addition to launching a consumer survey, Marriott also convened a roundtable of top family travel influencers to understand their perceptions and preferences with regards to all-inclusive offerings. Kay Akpan, better known as The Mom Trotter, explained that her 8-year-old son Aiden loves that they offer kids’ clubs, and that she is comfortable knowing that Aiden can have an exciting night with other children his own age, while she and her husband enjoy a romantic date night. The Clements family, whose children (twin daughters Ava and Leah and son Chase) are slightly older, said they most value activities that they can all do together as a family, as well as activities geared toward older children such as nature activities and art classes.
“The Caribbean and Latin America has traditionally been a growth region for Marriott International, and we continue to see potential for long-term expansion, specifically focused on our all-inclusive resort portfolio,” said Brian King, president of Marriott International’s Caribbean and Latin American in a presss statement. “The region’s rich cultural diversity, fascinating history and world class leisure destinations are primed to offer consumers the memory making experiences they are seeking. We’ve heard directly from consumers that local exploration, impeccable food and beverage offerings or family packages for all ages which are perfectly curated are top of mind. Marriott International makes it a priority to listen to our customers and provide exactly what they desire, but in a surprising an unexpected way! It’s been gratifying to see the research supports our hypothesis and underscores our commitment to bring the most memorable travel experiences to our adventure seeking guests.”
With Marriott’s entry into the segment, all-inclusive is continuing to evolve and attract more and more of the leisure travel market.