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Marriott celebrates 1M mobile check-ins as smartphones transform experience

Mobile is transforming the hotel check-in experience, with 1 million Marriott International customers having checked in to their rooms on their mobile devices since the option was introduced nearly two years ago.

Marriott International is celebrating the accomplishment with a sweepstakes across its brands giving Marriott Rewards members who use mobile check-in a chance to win a share of millions of rewards points. Mobile check-in is still a relatively new offering, but it has quickly been embraced by a number of hotel chains including La Quinta and Hilton in addition to Marriott.

“The millionth check-in demonstrates how our Marriott Rewards guests have embraced the convenience and choice mobile check-in offer them,” said John Wolf, global communications and public affairs at Marriott International.

“In addition, it shows that our mobile strategy of focusing our efforts on critical points during the guest’s journey is paying off; in this mobile check-in and checkout,” he said.

“We know that 75 percent of our guests travel with at least one mobile device and that number is growing. Guests like the convenience and choice of checking in the way they want to, such as using our mobile app.

Millionth check-in
The millionth check-in was completed by Hunter Swift and his wife, Tina, who checked into the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live. The couple received a surprise party and 1 million Marriott Rewards points.

The Marriott Mobile App enables guests to check-in after 4 pm the day before their arrival and receive an automatic notification when their room is ready.

From April 2 to December 31, Marriott Rewards members can check-in using the Marriott mobile app at over 3,000 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to be automatically entered to win a share of millions of rewards points.

A similar sweepstakes promotion will launch in additional countries in the coming months.

Marriott is continuing the focus on its mobile check-in capabilities with a series of tongue-in-cheek videos from YouTube influencers capturing their own journeys thanks to mobile check-in. The content strategy is being produced in partnership with Internet media brand What’s Trending as part of Marriott’s recently formed global content studio.

The videos can be found on

Enhanced visits
Mobile check-in was first introduced at 31 Marriott Hotels branded properties in the United States in July of 2013. It then rolled out in phases over the next year to include the entire Marriott Hotels brand globally and then the rest of the Marriott International portfolio of brands worldwide.

Marriott continues to build on the strategy, having recently announced that guests will be able to use the Apple Watch to check-in before their stay, receive alerts when their room is ready and checkout.

“One million check-ins is a significant number and I expect it to increase exponentially as people are exposed to and start using this check-in option,” said said Sean Cullen, senior vice president of Fluent. “The world is growing more accustomed to using phones as a boarding passes, concert tickets, and even as credit cards so Marriott is definitely set up to ride this trend.

“Without question mobile is transforming the check-in and overall guest experience, and I believe it’s an eventually that within the next five years the majority of check-ins will take place on mobile devices,” he said. “Not only does it provide hotels with potential cost savings, but most importantly it provides guests with a better, streamlined option that reduces the annoyances of the legacy check-in process.

“Mobile check-in capability combined with booking travel via apps, mobile access to loyalty programs, and even being able to unlock your room with technologies such as Apple’s Touch ID has the potential to really evolve the guest experience for the better.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York