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Luxury hotels try to cash in on younger guests

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Campaigns offer everything from group runs to live bands

Old-guard hotel giants are competing for affluent younger guests in various ways. Upper-upscale brands are no longer just about location, service and big meeting areas. They are sharpening their marketing focus on competing for the youth and lifestyle markets. They also want to offer some of the individual approach usually found in boutique hotels.

Around 200 of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Westin hotels are treating guests to open-house events under the brand’s new $15 million Well-Being Movement campaign, such as guided five-kilometre runs, group yoga and meditation exercises, nutritional juices and foods, and appointments at the hotels’ Heavenly Spas.

Marriott International’s Renaissance brand has hosted live-music shows, including a series in cooperation with Universal Music Group to tie in with a local music festival. Renaissance reached a deal with live-event promoter AEG to set aside tickets for guests.

“We are well positioned in between traditional business hotel brands, the boutiques and the independents,” says Dan Vinh, vice president of global marketing for Renaissance. “We want to give business travellers some of the stepped-up experience they would find in the boutique and independent space [with] a more comfortable vibe where they know they can get their work done, so that they can truly enjoy the other side of it.”

Travel Weekly

[pictured: Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun, Mexico; photo courtesy Starwood Hotels & Resorts]

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