Many third-party planning companies weren’t too happy with Marriott International last year when the company’s new rules went into effect requiring them to have certification from the International Airlines Travel Agent Network, the International Air Transport Association, or the Airline Reporting Corp in order to earn commissions. However, participants in Marriott’s centralized group commission program will soon be getting some perks for their efforts.
Beginning in October, Marriott will launch a Web site for accredited group travel intermediaries that will allow them to monitor their group commissions and future meeting bookings. The site will also feature news and special promotions of interest to planners. Initially, the commission information will be available only to North American planners.
Separately, Marriott is launching a self-paced online training program called Meetings Excellence in early 2009. The program will educate meeting professionals in hotel segments, Marriott’s brands, and planning meetings. Graduates of the course will be certified as Marriott Meeting Professionals and be eligible for discounted hotel-familiarization rates at Marriott hotels around the world.