November appears to be the time when large hotel chains are looking to embolden their relationship with travel agents. Earlier in the month, Hyatt announced a new specialist program for agents in addition to details of some of its new properties. Now, Marriott International Inc. has redesigned its travel agent website (www.marriott.com/travelagents) to offer agents new functionalities based on specific feedback from the travel agent community.
New features include the ability to access and view commission statements online, and easier access and booking of Marriott’s "fam-tastic" rates. Additional enhancements allow for Marriott’s certified Hotel Sales Specialists to create their own user-friendly name and password for easier navigation of the site. The website also allows for Marriott’s dedicated Intermediary Partner Care Team to better assist Marriott’s travel agency partners through its streamlined design and improvements.
Marriott began its fam-tastic familiarization rate program, which now offers certified Hotel Sales Specialists special rates beginning at $44 at over 2,900 Marriott International hotels worldwide, more than 20 years ago. It was also the first company to centralize travel agent commissions, and today remains the only hotel company worldwide to offer a double commission guarantee for commissionable rate bookings.
Earlier this year, Marriott International launched the Love Travel Agents campaign, designed to celebrate and build awareness of the travel agency community and its partners. The campaign includes elements designed to help educate Marriott’s hotel sales teams on how to maximize the travel agent relationship. This global campaign may be accessed through the redesigned travel agent website, and allows travel agents and industry partners to download free Love Travel Agents collateral for their own unique business needs.