Marriott launches New Online Version of its Hotel Excellence! Travel Agent Training Program

Travel News Asia Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Marriott has launched a new interactive online format for its Hotel Excellence! (HE!) travel agent training program. This self-paced training program, first introduced in 1999, was developed to maximize travel agents success in selling hotels for individual travel.

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, said David Marriott, senior vice president, Global Sales.

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 Internationals 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 Marriotts Fam-Tastic rate program and their agencys status under Marriott Preferred Travel Agency program, access a resource library (including Marriotts global contact information), and review past Reserved for You e mail newsletters sent to Hotel Excellence! graduates.

Marriotts 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). Marriotts PTA program offers a preferred commission status and special benefits for participating travel agencies. In addition to passing Hotel Excellence!, the agencys 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% commission on commissionable transient reservations, as well as a 12% commission on the sale of Marriotts Incentive Certificates.

Travel agents who achieve a score of at least 70% on each of the five modules will be designated a Hotel Sales Specialist certified by Marriott International. Benefits include:

- A certificate of completion;
- Exclusive access to Fam-Tastic rates, starting at US$49;
- Invitations to recognition functions at industry events;
- Special contests via Marriott Internationals travel agency web site; and
- Ten Continuing Education Unit credits toward maintaining Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA), CTC or CTA status in the U.S. In addition, both AFTA, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, and ACCESS, which represents Canadian travel agents, award credits for completion of Hotel Excellence!.

Current Hotel Excellence! graduates are not required to re-take the program, however they are encouraged to review the new, updated information and interactive features and encourage their colleagues to become graduates. Current graduates choosing to complete the new online version will retain their original exam scores. Individual agent requirements and benefits will not change. Travel agents who are currently using the workbook to complete their Hotel Excellence! training and testing will be permitted to continue their current program through June 2007.

The new Hotel Excellence! online features are offered in multiple languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese (Simplified), Japanese and Turkish.

See other recent news regarding: Marriott, Training

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