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Marriott Hosts Lifestyle Hospitality Forum

LONDON, U.K.—Marriott International, Inc. hosted its first Cultural_Game_Changers_London thought leaders’ forum at the London EDITION, which aimed to identify key trends and what inspires Millennials and next-generation consumers.

The forum was chaired by Bronwyn Cosgrave, best-selling author, curator and cultural commentator, who led a discussion with lifestyle influencers including James Gay-Rees, producer of Amy, the documentary on the life of six-time Grammy Awarad-winner Amy Winehouse; Lisa Markwell, the Independent on Sunday’s editor; Serge Dive, founder and CEO of Beyond Luxury Media and LE Miami; and George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, founders and chief creative officers of Yabu Pushelberg design firm.

“We are excited to join forces with these remarkable global thought leaders who are working at the forefront of art, design, film, travel and media. Creating a forum for these influencers to share their ideas has significantly helped us shape our thinking around how we design and create experiences that enrich the guest stay and their entire journey,” said Tina Edmundson, global brand officer for Marriott’s luxury & lifestyle portfolio. “With our established brands such as Renaissance and Autograph and newer brands like Moxy and EDITION, we see tremendous opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with next-gen travelers and grow our lifestyle portfolio.”

The inaugural Cultural_Game_Changers_London forum also took an in-depth look at the new age of storytelling, and how it informs hotel design, experiential travel and the next generation’s mindset . According to the company, Millennials and next-gen travelers are expected to account for more than 60% of Marriott’s business over the next four years.

Yabu and Pushelberg explained how, as part of their design process, they create actual characters to experience new hotel spaces—a process they applied to Marriott’s Moxy Hotels brand.

Referring to his recent documentary film productions, Gay-Rees touched on the importance and responsibility of storytelling in the context of the broader, cultural conversation, commenting, “We want to plug into the conversation with responsibility, and so we have to make something we believe in, and at the same time that’s relevant.”