Marriott's Hotel Excellence! Training Program Helps Travel Agents Succeed in a Changing Industry

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) has updated its acclaimed Hotel Excellence! (HE!) training program to help professional travel agents navigate the ever-changing travel industry landscape and help their clients choose hotels that best suit their needs and style. The modernized program features comprehensive tutorials and a streamlined technology platform to bring high-quality continuing education to agents in a flexible and convenient format.

When HE! first launched in 1999, Marriott had eight brands and 1,900 lodging properties across 56 countries and territories. Today, Marriott's portfolio has grown to include 18 brands that appeal to a wide variety of travelers and more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories around the world. The updated HE! program provides a broad overview of the hotel industry, while also educating agents about Marriott's groundbreaking innovations and expanded portfolio. Specifically, the training includes information around the transformation of the flagship Marriott Hotels brand, as well as details on the company's newest hotel brands – the Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels and Protea Hotels.

"A recent survey by the American Society of Travel Agents found that more than half of leisure travelers who used a travel agent said their vacations were better than trips booked without an agent," said Stephanie Linnartz, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Marriott International. "Marriott understands the value that travel agents provide to customers, which is why we are committed to our Hotel Excellence! training. We want agents to be equipped with the tools to help their clients book memorable vacations and productive business trips."

Highlights of Marriott's Refreshed Hotel Excellence! program:

  • A new training platform that is flexible, convenient and accessible from any web-enabled device; travel agents can stop and restart their training and seamlessly transition to any smartphone, computer or tablet.
  • Self-paced, interactive learning modules help travel agents of all experience levels better understand the complex hotel industry, learn useful new sales strategies and gain in-depth knowledge about all that Marriott offers customers.
  • Eligible agents who successfully complete the training by January 31, 2015, will receive five Fam-Tastic® certificates good for discounted rates at the majority of Marriott's 4,000 hotels worldwide.
  • Previous graduates must complete the new HE! program to be recertified for Fam-Tastic and Preferred Travel Agency status. Marriott will introduce new modules each year for recertification and to provide continuing education opportunities for agents to enhance their skills and learn about new Marriott offerings.
  • Available in 10 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian and Turkish.

Hotel Excellence! launched in 1999 as the first hotel sales training program of its kind. Today, more than 215,000 travel agents in more than 100 countries around the world have graduated from the program.

"With all the expanded choices travelers have today – as evidenced by the dramatic growth we've seen within Marriott's array of unique and exciting brands and the industry as a whole – it's never been more important to reassure travelers that their trusted travel agent will recommend the right product to match their needs. We always welcome ways for travel agents, under our growing umbrella, to enhance their knowledge, value and expertise," said John Lovell, President, Travel Leaders Franchise Group, Leisure Group & "We applaud Marriott for continually investing in the travel agent community and for their efforts in providing high-quality training so our agents can meet their clients' evolving travel needs."

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

CONTACT: Connect with: Shannon Kelly, +1.310.309.6663 or Felicia McLemore, +1.301.380.2702

Source:Marriott International, Inc.