Outside In Podcast

Anthony Capuano, CEO, Marriott International: The Resilience of Travel and Tourism

You don’t have to be a die-hard fan of The White Lotus or a jet-setting Instagram influencer to know how profoundly travel shapes who we are. It deepens our understanding of different cultures, people, and ways of life. It exposes us to new experiences and broadens our perspective. Most of all, it helps us discover more about ourselves. But during the pandemic, that was all lost…at least in the short term. Fueled by pent-up wanderlust and the desire to (finally!) explore and connect in person, the travel and hospitality industry has rebounded quickly and is poised for continued growth. Nobody is more optimistic about the future of travel than Anthony Capuano, CEO at Marriott International, the world’s largest and most iconic hospitality company. With nearly 8,200 hotels across 31 brands in 138 countries and territories, Marriott consistently makes “world’s most innovative companies” lists and has played — and continues to play — an integral part in travel around the world. Anthony joins the podcast to discuss why he’s so optimistic about the long-term future of travel and hospitality. He delves into the recovery trends, as well as the macro trends accelerated by the pandemic, that he’s seeing across the Marriott portfolio of brands. Finally, he shares how innovations in customer loyalty, technology, and sustainability initiatives will reshape both the guest and employee experience in the coming years.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • How the blending of business and leisure, along with the desire for experiences, is opening new areas of growth and innovation in hospitality
  • What “innovation” means at Marriott (think: a new state-of-the-art Innovation Lab, prototype rooms where real guests stay and provide feedback, tech platforms for employee and guest experiences, and more)
  • How Marriott Bonvoy — one of the largest loyalty programs in the world, with 173M+ members — maintains and nurtures an emotional relationship with members, rather than a transactional one
  • Is it really valuable to have so many brands under one company umbrella? (Yes, as long as you have a distinct, well-articulated brand positioning for each one.)
  • The growing importance of sustainability to guests, employees, owners/franchisees, and shareholders — and the goals Marriott has committed to in order to achieve net zero by 2050
  • Why institutional knowledge and a strong culture are invaluable assets for any CEO and can get any company through the most difficult times
  • What Italy can teach us about “the nobility of jobs in service”