It's the 10th anniversary of Marriott International's travel agent program, Hotel Excellence!, and its been 20 years since the hotel operator unveiled the Fam-Tastic agent incentive program—quite a run. To celebrate, Marriott is augmenting its agent training program by four new modules, designed to help travel agents succeed in the ever-changing global hotel climate.
The first module, demographic niche markets, was implemented to educate agents on how to better sell toward family travel, upscale travelers, physically challenged travelers and generational age groups.
Psychographic niche markets, the second module, addresses a new buzzword in the hotel industry, where lifestyle, rather than an age bracket, is the market. Through this module, agents will learn about romantics, ecotourists and adventurers, culture seekers, active vacationers and spa enthusiasts. Marriott says that selling to demographic niche markets is a prerequisite for the psychographic module.
Before taking the new modules, agent must have already completed the core Hotel Excellence! training. Additionally, two Fam-Tastic certificates will be awarded for completing the four modules. The Fam-Tastic program offeres certified agents special rates at Marriott properties, starting at only $44.
The new modules will first launch in English, followed soon by eight other languages.
In other Marriott news, the company is complementing Hotel Excellence! by introducing Meetings Excellence!, a training program geared toward meetings professionals. Also online, the program features three modules: an introduction to the meetings industry, strategies for planning a successful meeting and information about Marriott's brands, programs and services.
The news is testament to Marriott's dedication to agents. Underscoring this, Marriott's Chairman and CEO Bill Marriott will post a blog today at www.blogs.marriott.com, which touts the importance of travel agents in the hotel business.