Marriott International Inc. recently announced a new global campaign entitled “Love Travel Agents,” which it describes as an effort to promote and educate travel leaders and customers of the important role that travel agents play in the industry.
The backbone of this new campaign relies on virtual tutorials, training sessions, and town hall meetings between local travel agents and Marriot executives, as the company works to educate its staff on the needs of agents and how they can improve their interaction.
Twenty years ago Marriott began a similar campaign with the creation of the industry’s “Fam-Tastic” rate familiarization program, which allows registered agents to book special rates the company.
Marriot has also been dabbling with online training programs and created “Hotel Excellence!” as a virtual computer tool to assist agents in selling hotel rooms for individual travel. The online training includes audio and multimedia, information about different services offered at Marriott hotels, and interactive exercises. Currently, the program is offered in nine languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Turkish.
In addition to the “Hotel Excellence!” Marriott International has several other online training and agent assistance programs. Through the “Preferred Travel Agency” (PTA) program, agents can obtain preferred commission status, including 10 percent commissions on reservations, and 12 percent commissions on the sale of Marriott’s Incentive Certificates. There is also a travel agent section of the Marriott’s website which offers services such as commissionable bookings and future rate searches, GDS information, and access to “Hotel Excellence!”
Agents with questions about any of its online services can contact its “Intermediary Partner Care” at firstname.lastname@example.org.