Marriott International, Inc. (MAR / NYSE) has won the annual TM Award for 1999 in the category of international hotels in a ceremony held on January 7 in Tokyo. Mitsunobu Okazaki, vice president, and Kunio Katsuno, director of sales, both at the World Sales Office Ð Japan for Marriott Lodging, attended the ceremony on behalf of all Marriott employees to receive the award and commemorative plaque.
Judges of the award appraised the Hotel Excellence! program, which Marriott International offers travel agents worldwide, including Japan, as an innovative hotel sales training program. Marriott`s promotional programs and activities for the travel industry were rated as excellent and cited as the reasons for winning the award.
The annual TM Award honors companies and organizations that have contributed to fostering the healthy growth of Japan`s overseas travel industry in four categories: International Hotels, International Airlines, International Tourism Office and Special Award. The event is sponsored by Travel Consultants Japan, a publisher, and is supported by the Travel Management Club and the Japan Foundation for International Tourism. The committee of 15 judges is composed of members of the board of directors of these two organizations. Travel Management Club currently comprises 148 corporate members of Japan`s representative travel agencies, airlines, hotels and overseas tourism offices.
We are most pleased that the value of Hotel Excellence! is recognized by Japan`s travel industry leaders, said Okazaki. Marriott has developed and offers this hotel sales training program for travel agents as we position travel agencies as one of the most important partners in our sales system, despite some observations that travelers now rely less on travel agents. We would like to encourage all travel agents to enroll in the Hotel Excellence! program.
Travel agents can improve their hotel sales skills through Hotel Excellence! Ð a self-paced, free of charge, home-study training program. After reading the 10-chapter Hotel Excellence! workbook and performing the activities in the book, travel agents can complete a course review provided with the workbook. Travel agents may submit their answers through e-mail, on a disk sent to Marriott International in a pre-addressed disk mailer, or by fax to their local Marriott International sales office. Those who e-mail their answers receive test results within 10 days of receipt.
In connection with the Hotel Excellence! program, Marriott announced last October the Preferred Travel Agency program for travel agencies. This program offers a 10 percent commission for booking a guest at any of Marriott International`s more than 1,900 hotels to travel agencies that have at least one travel agent who has successfully completed the Hotel Excellence! program. Those travel agencies that chose not to reach the Preferred Travel Agency status earn an eight percent commission.
More information on Hotel Excellence! and Preferred Travel Agency programs can be obtained at any Marriott International sales office or hotels.