Sekisui House & Marriott to Debut Fairfield By Marriott With Signing of 12 Hotels Across Five Prefectures in Japan

USA, Bethesda, Maryland. December 05, 2018

Marriott International, Inc., today announced the signing of 12 Fairfield by Marriott hotels across five prefectures in Japan - Kyoto, Wakayama, Mie, Gifu and Tochigi - in a long-standing collaboration with Japanese real estate developer, Sekisui House; in total, an anticipated 15 hotels will be signed by next year. All properties are expected to open by 2021, with the first dozen hotels scheduled to open in late 2020. All properties are expected to open by 2021, with the first dozen hotels scheduled to open in late 2020. With more visitors exploring Japan's lesser known destinations, these upcoming Fairfield by Marriott Hotels will give travelers access to remote destinations whilst ensuring that guests can count on the international brand's standards of warm hospitality and inviting spaces with each and every stay.

“Japan has been experiencing robust growth in inbound tourist arrivals in recent years,” said Craig Smith, President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “This year alone, Japan has welcomed more than 20 million international travelers and is on track to reaching its goal of 30 million visitors by 2020. We see that, while there is increasing demand to explore destinations outside of the popular gateway cities, there is currently a limited amount of accommodations in these more remote areas. Together with Sekisui House, we believe in the potential of capturing this growing trend with the simplicity and reliability of Fairfield by Marriott hotels to showcase our commitment to providing warm hospitality in emerging destinations across Japan.”

The upcoming Fairfield by Marriott hotels will be situated in convenient locations near popular roadside rest stations called “Michi-no-Eki” in Japan. The Michi-no-Eki system was launched 20 years ago by the Japanese government to create a safe and comfortable roadside stop-over for road trip travelers, which also feature unique attributes of each region. There are currently more than 1,000 stations along popular motorways that provide convenient services for travelers, including locally-inspired dining venues, farm-fresh produce and traditional handicrafts. Many rest stops also have a tourist information center that guide visitors to nearby attractions, since many Michi-no-Eki stations are located near national parks and historic UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

“We are thrilled to launch this hotel development project with Marriott International, which will introduce a whole new way of experiencing Michi-no-Eki and its surrounding areas in undiscovered destinations across Japan,” said Yoshihiro Nakai, President & Representative Director, Sekisui House. “We hope to empower local communities through this project, by showcasing local cuisine, handicrafts and culture. We will work with local tourism operators and government partners to show the uniqueness of each destination and bring more domestic and international travelers to these remote areas.”

The swift speed and efficiency in which the hotels are expected to open is largely due to the innovative construction process. These new Fairfield by Marriott hotels in Japan will be the first of their kind to be constructed in a factory, before being shipped to each site for assembly. This innovative modular construction model allows the hotels to maintain high-quality standards as well as reduce the construction assembly time on site. The hotels feature between 49 to 96 rooms and will offer guests comfortable yet simple hotel experiences in beautiful destinations.

Fairfield by Marriott hotels brings travelers closer to key attractions in five distinct prefectures across Japan.

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Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.