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Marriott in the Travel-Management Space?

8 news briefs for the busy meeting professional, including Marriott’s new Spotnana-aligned tool, a big Maritz deal, Dave Dubois’ departure, LACC’s green light, and more.

Marriott Tool for Travel Management
Hotel giant Marriott International announced on July 9 the launch of a new travel-management platform for small to mid-size businesses built on Spotnana's technology. The travel-booking platform, called Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy, allows companies to book hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio at a discounted rate, as well as flights, rail, and rental cars. Businesses can receive Marriott Bonvoy Elite reward status if they reach certain usage thresholds, and the awards can be gifted to employees. The platform allows companies to set travel policies, get real-time reporting on travel spend, and integrate with expense-management platforms.

David Peckinpaugh-sm.jpgMaritz Buys CDS
Convention Data Services has a new owner. On July 1, event-management giant Maritz finalized a deal to acquire the 35-year-old registration and lead-generation provider. CDS, which had been owned by Freeman since 2019, primarily supports association events and trade shows, and puts Maritz in a position to serve “a significant percentage of top TSE Gold Trade Shows in the U.S.,” according to a company release. Maritz President David Peckinpaugh (left) spoke with MeetingsNet’s Rob Carey about the significance of the deal and the ever-growing role of data in association-event success. Look for that interview in the June 11 Association Meetings Direct newsletter. (Subscribe here.)

Short-Term Gig for Long-Term Leader
An Events Industry Council Hall of Leaders inductee, David DuBois has had a number of long-term positions of influence in the business-events industry—including 11 years as president and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events and 15 years in leadership at the Professional Convention Management Association. But the event veteran’s latest role was a brief one. After his IAEE retirement last year, he joined Exhibitor Group as president in October 2023. Now, just nine months later, he’s retired again. His new description on LinkedIn: “Free Agent.”

Green Light for L.A.C.C.
On July 3, the Los Angeles City Council voted to move forward with the expansion and modernization of the Los Angeles Convention Center, with plans to finish before the 2028 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, which the city is hosting. Expected to break ground next year, the project will connect the South and West Exhibit Halls, adding 190,000 square feet of space. There will also be 55,000 square feet of meeting room space and 95,000 square feet of multipurpose space.

Ritz and Disney to Sail in Asia
Luminara.pngTwo cruise lines have recently announced their first sailings in Asia. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection plans to launch its third ship, Luminara, (right) in 2025 and begin itineraries visiting Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other ports starting in December. Also in 2025, the maiden voyage for Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Adventure will be from Marina Bay Cruise Center in Singapore. The 6,700-passenger ship will sail three- and four-night voyages. Itineraries have not yet been announced.

Suite bookings at Marriott Luxury Group hotels in New York City come with a sweet deal this summer: free round-trip helicopter transportation from John F. Kennedy International Airport or Newark Liberty International Airport. The promotion, in conjunction with Blade, a helicopter transport company, runs through September 2 at JW Marriott Essex House New York, The Ritz-Carlton New York Nomad, St. Regis New York, New York Edition, W New York–Union Square, and Luxury Collection Hotel Manhattan Midtown. Travelers must book suites for two nights or more to qualify for the flights.

hawaii.jpgHawaii Online
The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Meet Hawai‘i has launched a refreshed and upgraded website. There’s now an interactive map of Hawaii’s islands, island-specific meeting planning information, and a listing of group venues, such as Kualoa Ranch Nature Preserve and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. The site also highlights ‘voluntourism’ experiences, sustainability programs, and cultural-learning opportunities.

Lending a Hand
Destination management company Ethos Event Collective unveiled its Passion Project Initiative on June 9, which connects clients with a selection of local and national nonprofit organizations in an effort to create meaningful volunteer experiences that leave a lasting impact. Ethos staff will also participate in quarterly volunteer projects as part of the company’s commitment to community support. Ethos operates in Florida (Amelia Island, Orlando, Palm Beach, Miami, and Naples) and California (Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Monterey Peninsula, and San Francisco), as well as Las Vegas; Grand Cayman; and Savannah, Ga.

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