Mind Your Business: Marriott International’s Peggy Roe on the points of travel

Peggy Roe, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer of Marriott International, Profile photo

In Mind Your Business, we speak with business leaders and thinkers who inspire their respective companies and industries. Here, we feature Peggy Roe, executive vice-president and chief customer officer of Marriott International.

“Risk-taking is in my DNA,” says Peggy Roe, executive vice-president and chief customer officer of Marriott International. She says it casually, as though she’s said it 100 times before, but an attentive listener will detect a hint of grit in her voice.

Since joining Marriott International in 2003, Roe has played a big role in increasing membership enrolment and engagement of Marriott Bonvoy, the hotel chain’s loyalty programme. With various leadership roles under her belt, her career is marked by a history of driving change. Today, she focuses on unifying brand marketing, design strategies and customer personalisation across Marriott’s global portfolio.

Deeply invested in supporting educational initiatives and advancing women’s leadership, Roe is the co-founder of the Marriott Women in Leadership initiative and a board member of the Asian University for Women’s Hong Kong chapter.

Peggy Roe headshot
A risk-taker, Peggy Roe is leading the transformation of Marriott International’s loyalty programme. Photo by Marriott International

How do you envision the evolution of travel loyalty programs to meet the changing needs and preferences of the next generation of travellers?

People travel for experience and their passions, not to stay in a hotel. They’re travelling because they want to discover the world. So, what we’ve started to do over the last five years is to evolve Marriott Bonvoy from a simple hotel points programme to one that gives access to experiences. We have over 30,000 experiences on our platform worldwide. For example, we can provide access to 15,000 restaurants internationally, with over 50 Michelin stars.

What makes Marriot Bonvoy different from other hotel loyalty programmes?

I don’t think there’s a hotel programme out there that can compare in terms of the number of partners and experiences we have around the world. For example, we have relationships with the NFL for Super Bowl, Formula One and we have this Taylor Swift concert happening in multiple markets. We have hotels everywhere and we have great relationships with partners. We want to be known as the brand that gives you access to experiences that you couldn’t get on your own.

Could you share how Marriott Bonvoy curates these experiences for its members?

We curate based on the research we did last year. We studied people’s passions, and we based it around what people are spending their money and time on, what they’re motivated by, and why they travel.

Loyalty doesn’t come from just earning or redeeming points. Real loyalty comes from how you treat your guests and how you make them feel. We’re known for our quality, consistency and authentic service and we’re making that a centre point of how we deliver brand experiences. If we can give people more access to the things they love, on top of providing great service, it’s going to be great.

What are some changes in customer expectations after the pandemic?

After the pandemic, there’s been a shift in travel. People used to save their money so they could eventually check things off their bucket list. Now, travel is a rite of passage. People are no longer waiting for the perfect time to experience the world. They’re passionate and ready to do it now.

As a co-founder of the Marriott Women in Leadership initiative in Asia Pacific, what advice would you give to young women aspiring to attain leadership positions

As I reflect on many years of talking to young women, and of course, going through this myself, I believe if you focus on doing what you’re good at, and doing what you’re passionate about, the rest will come. When you’re happy and you’re leveraging your strengths, that’s when you see the power of success.

Marriott International