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Marriott Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Hotel Excellence! And 20th Anniversary of Fam-Tastic with Program Enhancements


The First Program of its Kind in the Industry Continues to Address the Needs of Today’s Travel Agents.

Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Hotel Excellence! travel agent training program and 20th Anniversary of its industry leading Fam-Tastic® program with the debut of four brand new training modules.

Marriott International was the first lodging company in the industry to provide hotel sales training through Hotel Excellence! to the travel agent profession ten years ago.

In 2007, the Hotel Excellence! program was enhanced and expanded to online educational modules, making the training more robust, interactive and dynamic. We continue to evaluate and evolve the training that we provide the travel agent community, a critical partner to Marriott’s success.

Today, we are excited to announce that we have added four online, interactive modules created specifically to address the needs of today’s traveler in an ever-changing global environment. The modules provide travel agents with a fresh perspective on the current state of the travel business, as well as the appropriate tools to help them sell travel in the following categories:

* Demographic Niche Markets — family, upscale, physically challenged, and generational travel
* Psychographic Niche Markets — romantic, eco-adventure, cultural, active, and spa related travel
* Marriott’s International Presence — including travel to emerging markets such as the Middle East & Asia
* Marriott’s International Resorts & Spas — tailored leisure travel to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica

Travel agents must complete the core Hotel Excellence! training before experiencing the new courses. An additional Fam-Tastic certificate will be awarded for completion of both Niche modules, and another additional Fam-Tastic certificate will be awarded for completion of both of the International courses.

The Travel Institute ( has recognized the new Hotel Excellence! modules with Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) toward maintaining a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) or Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) designation. Completion of both Niche modules will earn eligible agents three (3) CEU’s and completion of both International modules will earn eligible agents two (2) CEU’s.

The new modules will launch in English, followed soon by eight other languages (French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Turkish.

“The continued success of Hotel Excellence! over the past 10 years and the Fam-Tastic program over the past twenty years is indicative of the pivotal role that travel agents play in our business,” said Julius Robinson, vice president of global sales intermediaries for Marriott International. “Celebrating these important milestones for each program provided us with an excellent opportunity to enhance our agent training tools. In a challenging business climate, we feel it is important for Marriott to recognize and embrace the travel agent community’s invaluable contribution to our business around the world,” he continued.

Hotel Excellence!, an industry-leading, self-paced training program, was introduced in 1999, and was the first of its kind in the travel industry. The global program launched in nine languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Turkish. It was created to maximize travel agents’ success in selling hotels for individual travel.

Hotel Excellence! covers generic lodging sales information as well as the benefits and diversity of the many lodging choices offered by Marriott International. The program introduced its fully interactive online format in 2007, to great success. Since the program’s inception, Marriott is proud to have certified over 142,000 graduates in 53 countries as Hotel Sales Specialists.

2009 also marks the 20th Anniversary of Marriott’s well recognized Fam-Tastic familiarization rate program which offers certified Hotel Sales Specialists special rates beginning at $44 USD at over 2,900 Marriott International hotels worldwide.

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. Once a PTA, agencies receive a 10 percent commission on commissionable transient reservations, as well as a 10 percent commission on the sale of Marriott’s Incentive Certificates.


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