Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts Offering Tech-Free Zones for Travelers Who Crave a Braincation

New survey shows travelers ready for some “Digital Detox” on their vacations.

For everyone who has ever had to deal with someone talking loudly into a cell phone while they were trying to relax, or felt pressured to be connected 24/7 to their job or elsewhere, The Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts collection is offering a solution.

The collection of nine exclusive resorts in seven locations across the Caribbean and Mexico will offer new optional “Braincation” tech-free zones beginning in December and running throughout the winter months. Guests wishing to enjoy some “digital detox” can retreat to a Braincation zone at each resort where they can enjoy peaceful relaxation with no cell phones or electronic devices in use. The Braincation zones will operate on the honor system and signs indicating an electronics-free environment will be designed to encourage guests to disconnect, relax and enjoy peaceful reading, conversation or other tech-free pursuits.

According to Michelle Bozoki, Director of Marketing and eCommerce for Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean and Latin America Resorts, a recent survey conducted by the resort collection asked more than 1,000 travelers how they deal with the demands of staying digitally connected to their social media, work and family while traveling.

“We wanted to find out how travelers felt about being constantly connected and whether or not they felt they could fully relax during their vacation,” said Bozoki. “The majority of respondents felt that staying connected to work added to their stress while vacationing and reported instances of being annoyed by mobile device abuse such as loud cell phone conversations. Our Braincation zones are an opportunity for those guests who just want to take a little break from electronics to find a place to retreat, relax and disconnect for awhile.”

Results from the survey included:

• 85% of respondents said they had experienced being annoyed by someone talking loudly into their cell phone when traveling
• 50% of respondents reported checking their emails and voicemails multiple times per day while on vacation
• 39% reported checking their emails and voicemails at least once per day during their trip
• 36% said they check their emails and voicemails on the beach
• 30% provide their cell phone numbers to clients while on vacation
• 31% admitted to being tempted to throw their mobile device into the ocean

Perhaps as a sign of the times and the acceptance of the digital age, only 15% of those surveyed said they felt being connected bothered their spouse, partner or fellow traveler.

Social media usage was a main digital source for the survey respondents:

• 44% reported connecting to their social channels while vacationing
• 82% utilized their social channels to keep in touch with family and friends
• 66% utilized their social channels to upload upload and share photos via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, etc.
• 64% update their status on Facebook or tweet via Twitter
• 64% use their mobile device to check-in to a location or search nearby options

The survey was conducted with 1,184 respondents. Fifty-three percent of respondents were male and 47% female.

According to Bozoki, the resort collection provides Wi-Fi and other modern tech tools to allow guests to stay as connected as they want to be, but the Braincation tech-free zones will give guests the opportunity for a personal, rather than digital connection.

“Our resorts are located in some of the most beautiful settings in the world and we provide an escape from the stresses of work and today’s hectic lifestyles,” said Bozoki. “Our hope is that we can encourage guests to take some time out for themselves and appreciate both the natural beauty of their environment and, more importantly, have a human connection with those traveling with them.”

The Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts Collection include:

• Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
• CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort
• CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa
• Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino
• Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
• Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort
• Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino
• JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa
• St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino

To book a vacation at any of the nine resorts, visit www.paradisebymarriott.com

Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts:
Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts (MARCAM) represents the region’s most luxurious resort properties, each complete with chic accommodations, state-of-the-art amenities and stunning oceanfront locations. The Collection’s nine Resorts situated throughout seven destinations in the Caribbean & Mexico share elevated standards of service, style and reputation that are further magnified by participation in the MARCAM team. Formed in 1997, MARCAM brings a refined level of awareness to this exclusive Collection of full-service properties. For more information please visit www.paradisebymarriott.com.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.