Case Study: How Marriott Leverages AI for Digital Innovation

Marriott International, a leading global hospitality company, is undergoing a significant technological transformation aimed at enhancing customer experience and operational efficiency. In 2024, Marriott plans to invest between $1 billion and $1.2 billion in technology, with a strong focus on artificial intelligence (AI).

Key Takeaways

  • Marriott’s tech investment for 2024 is set to reach up to $1.2 billion, marking the highest tech expenditure in its history.
  • The company is leveraging AI for accelerated content generation, improved customer experience, and augmented intelligence for associates.
  • Initiatives like the AI-powered virtual assistant RenAI and a generative AI search tool for vacation rentals highlight Marriott’s commitment to integrating advanced technologies.

Approach

Marriott’s approach to AI involves creating an AI Incubator to explore and develop innovative solutions across the company. More than 150 AI use cases were submitted, focusing on three main areas: accelerated content generation using AI to produce content more efficiently; elevated customer experience by enhancing how customers interact with Marriott’s services through personalized and seamless experiences; and augmented intelligence for associates by freeing employees from routine tasks to focus on higher-value activities that improve guest satisfaction.

Implementation

Marriott’s AI initiatives are in various stages of implementation. The AI Incubator was established to foster innovation and manage AI projects across the organization. One notable initiative is RenAI, an AI-powered virtual concierge providing local recommendations to guests. Additionally, a natural language-based search tool for Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy, developed in collaboration with Publicis Sapient, helps users find vacation rentals based on detailed criteria. Marriott is also transitioning to modern, scalable, cloud-based systems with partners like Amadeus, Agilisys, and Oracle.

Results

Although many of Marriott’s AI initiatives are still in early stages, initial outcomes are promising. AI tools like RenAI and the generative AI search tool enhance the guest experience by providing personalized recommendations and simplifying the search process. Automating routine tasks allows employees to spend more time on guest interactions, potentially leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. Early feedback on the AI search tool has been positive, indicating a shift towards more intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.

Challenges and Barriers

Marriott faces several challenges in its AI journey. Implementing AI at scale across thousands of properties is complex and resource-intensive. Ensuring the security and privacy of guest data while using AI technologies is a significant concern. Modernizing and replacing legacy systems with new cloud-based platforms requires substantial investment and careful management. Additionally, the high cost of AI technologies and the need for skilled resources to develop and maintain these systems are ongoing challenges.

Future Outlook

Marriott’s future outlook for AI is promising, with plans to expand its AI initiatives and further integrate technology into its operations. The company aims to become a leader in travel retail by offering bespoke experiences similar to those in the airline industry. Ongoing investment in AI and technology infrastructure will support Marriott’s long-term strategic goals. Collaborations with technology partners will drive the development and deployment of new AI solutions. AI will continue to play a role in augmenting employee capabilities, allowing staff to focus on delivering exceptional guest experiences.

To get the latest AI transformation case studies straight to your inbox, subscribe to AI in Action by AIX — your weekly newsletter dedicated to the exploration of AI adoption in business.

Elevate your understanding of AI transformation. Browse AI adoption case studies searchable by company, industry, use case, and technology.

Sources:
Publicis Sapient helps Marriott Bonvoy launch Gen AI travel tool
Marriott’s revenue and tech chief on travel retail ambition
Marriott’s Not Selling Just Rooms Anymore – Inside Its Bet on AI
Marriott gears up for another year of major tech spending


Let’s talk

Whether you’re looking for expert guidance on AI transformation or want to share your AI knowledge with others, our network is the place for you. Let’s work together to build a brighter future powered by AI.