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Marriott works out fitness-first incentives for travelers on mobile

Marriott hotels in San Francisco are helping travelers keep their fitness goals on track with a campaign that rewards participants for engaging with fellow wellness enthusiasts on mobile.

Guests who become part of the #MarriottTravelWell community and hashtag their workouts when they stay at participating hotels will be eligible to earn one of the Fitbit fitness tracking devices Marriott will award every Friday in March. The campaign underlines both the increasing value of wearables and mobile?s value in motivating healthier habits.

?The #MarriottTravelWell campaign is focused around Instagram, which is primarily mobile, so travelers can get inspired and engaged with the campaign via their smartphones while on the road,? said John Southwell, general manager of the San Jose Marriott.

?Mobile phones are key to seamless travel, whether it?s using Marriott Mobile Check-in or a mobile boarding pass for an airline,? he said. ?By inserting our fitness campaign into this conversation we hope to help make wellness on the road an easy integration.?

Achieving goals
Travelers often struggle to adhere to fitness goals, given constraints on exercise time, limited opportunities for activity and the temptation to dine out.

Promotion on mobile Web.

To invigorate road warriors to stay active, Marriott?s program strives to initiate a dialogue about wellness and create an engaging travelogue where people can share destination-specific exercise routines, photos of scenic workout venues and personal achievements.  

Central to the campaign is the introduction of an online community, #MarriottTravelWell, to support and inspire healthy and memorable travel.  

Guests are encouraged to become part of the community when they stay at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, San Francisco Marriott Airport Waterfront, San Jose Marriott and Santa Clara Marriott. 

Every Friday through March, Marriott will reward one #MarriottTravelWell member with a Fitbit fitness tracking device for his or her contribution to the online community. 

The Travel Well package features overnight accommodations promoting rest and relaxation, complimentary spa water and fresh fruit. Other features include a designated fitness concierge, access to an onsite 24-hour fitness center and a "Fit in the City" guide to recreational activities and fitness opportunities unique to the hotel and region.

The package at the San Francisco waterfront hotels will be available every Friday and Saturday throughout March, based on availability. Starting prices per night range from $129 to $289 plus tax.  

Marriott is adjusting its service to reflect customers? evolving perceptions of travel.

A Marriott executive at the Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2014 last year said social media is key since many younger travelers enjoy sharing experiences and hobbies that reflect how they want to be viewed by peers.

Standing out
They want products, services, experiences and information that deliver something different and do not duplicate what they already have or know.

Marriott app.

?Marriott is trying to give travelers another reason to stay at one of its properties and something to talk about in social networks,? said Jeff Hasen, founder/CEO of Gotta Mobilize, Seattle.

?I?ll still choose on price. The tracking device incentive is interesting, but I?m not sure that it?s compelling enough for a crowd that is likely already tracking health closely,? he said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York