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From the 7th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

How to Travel Better

Audience Honor in Branded Content


When we step out into the world, we are forever transformed by the places, cultures and people we encounter. Travel makes us feel a part of something greater. These stories are a guide to more sustainable and meaningful ways to experience the world around us – a guide to travel better.

Marriott Bonvoy Traveler’s How to Travel Better storytelling supports regenerative travel around the world. Regenerative travel is the philosophy that urges travelers to give back to the destinations that they visit, leaving them better than when they arrived. Regenerative travel can be the act of supporting local business or traveling, being mindful of local cultures and restoration of overtouristed areas.

We set out to tell these stories about more conscious travel across many mediums as well as through our partnerships. Stories are told on our owned channels through immersive articles, photo essays and a podcast, where we cover topics like sustaining New York’s LGBTQ+ venues and restoring Hawaii’s traditional fishponds. In a paid publisher partnership with The Washington Post, we created an integrated digital program that gives a platform to underrepresented storytellers and through their stories, demonstrates how to travel better.

The goal of this storytelling is to drive deeper engagement with these regenerative travel themes and understand perception around our brand values.

Strategy and Execution

Marriott Bonvoy Traveler’s How to Travel Better was created to speak to the regenerative travel trend and more specifically to our essential desire to return to travel to improve ourselves, our relationships, and our world. The editorial strategy supports Marriott Bonvoy's Power of Travel campaign and features tip-driven and immersive stories on ways to travel more mindfully in overtouristed areas and have more meaningful experiences in support of the communities we visit.

Each story on each platform features clear takeaways for traveling in a more conscious way and features local activists and tour operators leading the way from Indigenous tour leaders in Vancouver to an artist community in Punta Islita, Costa Rica. We also love stories that we’ve been able to tell in our podcast about an historic Black neighborhood in Washington, DC as well as showcasing Black cowgirl culture across the US in a photo essay.

From an execution perspective, this experience is the first time that Marriott Bonvoy Traveler or any Marriott International digital team has forayed into interactive storytelling. This is an entirely new capability for our owned channels to be able to transport audiences into stories by blending interactivity, dynamic video and photography. Here are some of the steps we took to bring these stories to life:

  1. We started with thoughtful, well-reported and multilayered stories from talented journalists that could be told visually through many mediums, worthy of this immersive treatment.
  2. We determined what mediums would best serve each story. Video? Slide Shows? Interactive maps?
  3. We built a comprehensive outline and UX plan for each story incorporating all of these elements.
  4. We worked with a mix of internal and external teams to produce these rich assets. These included internal editorial and design as well as external design and photo teams with The Charles Group and Getty Images' custom photo team.
  5. In over a yearlong effort, we fostered collaboration between internal editorial and design teams along with external design and development teams, where development was managed by ModusCreate.

We also led a paid publisher campaign with the Washington Post that explored regenerative travel themes called, “The Regeneration of Travel”. This is an integrated digital program that gives a platform to underrepresented storytellers and through their stories, and demonstrates how to travel better. The program included three immersive stories as told to Washington Post readers through rich photography and video as well as interactive elements such as 360 interactives and photo telemetry. This was paired with a first-time brand inclusion on the Washington Post’s TikTok channel, where traveler and content creator, Jeff Jenkins, also known as Chubby Diaries on social, explains why regenerative travel matters.

We think this work stands out because we may be the first hospitality brand covering this topic to the depth that we’ve been able to through this storytelling.


As mentioned, our goal was to deepen engagement around the topic of regenerative travel and increase perception around Marriott Bonvoy’s brand values. We saw success a number of ways:


Video for How to Travel Better

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Marriott International


Entry Credits