“Marriott International values third party partners and their role in bringing customers to our 2800 hotels across the world. We continue to look for ways to reward and add value for travel agents and share our appreciation of their efforts. Hotel Excellence! is an example of this. We developed Hotel Excellence! seven years ago because training for travel agents regarding hotel products had been almost non-existent,” said David Marriott, senior vice president, Global Sales. He added, “Marriott International is thrilled to enhance our training program that advises travel agents on the types of questions to ask their customers in order to recommend a more customized lodging solution, thus increasing customer satisfaction with the agent and the hotel experience.”
The new online training format is engaging, complete with audio, photography, interactive exercises, printable “take-away” information, and a resource library with useful information and web links.
The training modules provide general information, and questions and answers about selling lodging needs, as well as the benefits and diversity of Marriott International’s ten lodging brands. After agents complete the modules and perform related activities, they take five ten-question, multiple-choice tests on the interactive site. All of the module test results are provided instantly.
Along with the new training, agents also have additional enhancement on the “My HE! Home” page. Agents are able to review their past and current exam status, update their profile information, review their eligibility for Marriott’s Fam-Tastic rate program and their agency’s status under Marriott Preferred Travel Agency program, access a resource library (including Marriott’s global contact information), and review past Reserved for You e-mail newsletters sent to Hotel Excellence! graduates.
Marriott’s Hotel Excellence! program currently has more than 113,000 graduates in 129 countries. Passing Hotel Excellence! is the first step towards becoming a Preferred Travel Agency (PTA). Marriott’s PTA program offers a preferred commission status and special benefits for participating travel agencies. In addition to passing Hotel Excellence!, the agency’s owner or manager must sign an agreement to sell Marriott brands equally with those of other hotel companies. Once a PTA, agencies receive a 10 percent commission on commissionable transient reservations, as well as a 12 percent commission on the sale of Marriott’s Incentive Certificates.
Travel agents who achieve a score of at least 70 percent on each of the five modules will be designated a Hotel Sales Specialist certified by Marriott International.