Marriott International, Inc. (MAR/NYSE) paid $180 million in commissions to travel agents in 1998, an increase of 24 percent over the previous year.
This figure represents commissions paid on travel agency bookings made for the following Marriott lodging brands: Marriott Hotels, Resorts & Suites; Courtyard; Fairfield Inn; SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn; TownePlace Suites; Renaissance Hotels & Resorts; Ramada International and Marriott Executive Residences and Marriott`s other lodging business units Marriott Vacation Club International and Marriott Conference Centers.
Bruce Wolff, senior vice president of distribution sales and marketing, attributes the increase in commissions paid to Marriott`s superior reservations and global distribution system capabilities, exceptional customer service, a wide variety of lodging products and travel agent programs such as Fam-Tastic, single image inventory and the Travel Agency Services Desk.
Marriott has an ongoing commitment to develop new programs and enhancements to help travel agents work more efficiently and effectively, said Wolff. With that in mind we developed Hotel Excellence!, the first hotel sponsored educational program designed to maximize a travel agent`s sucess in selling hotels. It is widely recognized as the most comprehensive hotel training program in the industry.
Wolff noted that in 1996 Marriott paid $79 million in commissions to travel agents. In two years, we have added five lodging brands and more than doubled the commissions paid.
Commissions to travel agents are paid through Marriott`s Centralized Travel Agency Commission (CTAC) system and the Hotel Clearing Corporation (HCC).
Announced in 1990, Marriott continues to be the only company in the industry to offer a Double Commission Guarantee. The guarantee states that travel agencies paid through CTAC receive double commission owed on individual commissionable transient reservations if the commission agencies will be paid double the commission owed if Marriott does not provide HCC with the appropriate information within 15 business days.
As of January 1, 1999, Marriott now offers travel agencies the option to receive commissions in EURO for booking any one of Marriott`s lodging brands. Travel Agencies will have the choice to either receive their commissions in their local currencies for hotel bookings in their respective countries or the EURO. Those agencies who choose to be paid in the EURO will not be charged for the transaction for cross-country bookings within EURO participating countries.