“We have always maintained that intermediaries, such as Google or OTAs (online travel agencies), can play an important role in helping us acquire new customers beyond the reach of our existing sales channels,” Linnartz said.

Skift talked to Marriott's Chief Commercial Officer Stephanie Linnartz about its Google relationship, the Marriott-Alibaba joint venture, attribute-based reservations, and how it blends high tech and high touch.

Related: A closer look at attributed-based selling