Marriott International: From Agents, With Love

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Marriott International has a long-standing tradition of ensuring the success of its travel agency partners. The company’s stated goal is to help agents improve their profitability, grow their knowledge of the product, enhance their selling skills and give them a competitive edge by providing them with tools to better serve their clients and manage their business. So it’s no wonder that the winner of Recommend’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Hotel Chain for Travel Agent Support for the 10th consecutive year is Marriott International. This award is only one of four for the brand this year, which also took Best Resort/Hotel Chain in Asia, Latin America and North America.

Perhaps no action could be more appropriate to earning travel agent support than the copy line reading, “Marriott and Your Success go Hand in Hand” currently underlining Marriott International’s “Love Travel Agents” campaign, which is designed to celebrate and build awareness of the travel agency community and its partners. Sponsored in part by ASTA, the campaign aims further to help build knowledge among travel industry leaders and customers of the pivotal role travel agents play within the travel industry.

“Marriott has always understood the value travel agents bring to customers during the selection and reservation process,” says Julius Robinson, v.p. of global sales intermediaries for Marriott International. “‘Love Travel Agents’ is our way of reinforcing this commitment to our industry partners and building better awareness of our Marriott brands.” Robinson reminds us that the Marriott commitment to the travel agent community began more than 20 years ago with the creation of the industry’s first Fam-Tasticfamiliarization rate program, which now offers certified hotel sales specialists special rates that start at $44 at more than 2,900 Marriott International hotels worldwide. Additionally, he reminds us that Marriott was also the first company to centralize travel agent commissions, and today remains the only hotel company to have a double commission guarantee that offers agents twice the booking commission if Marriot has made a mistake.

Marriott also celebrates the 10th year of its Hotel Excellence! program, created to maximize travel agent success in selling hotels for individual travel. This free global program, offered in nine languages, has certified over 150,000 graduates in 100 countries. This year the program added four additional training modules that address emerging segments of the travel marketplace including demographic and psychographic niches.

And agent support got an extra special dose of tender loving care this spring, when more than 25 travel agents from all over the country visited the hotel’s corporate headquarters for a behind-the-scenes look at Marriott International. Along with a complete building tour, members of Marriott’s intermediary sales support team were on hand to conduct working sessions and help facilitate discussions on a wide variety of topics including Marriott’s family of brands and travel agent programs. Behind-the-scenes tours are offered quarterly for travel agents interested in learning more about Marriott’s offerings. For information on how to sign up for an upcoming tour, visit Marriott’s travel agent website at marriott.com/travelagents. And this website also includes information on how the agent community can download free “Love Travel Agents” collateral including logos for their business needs.