April 13, 2018

Travel agents respond to Marriott’s claim that agency channel has declined


Travel agents are up in arms about a recent comment by Marriott's Arne Sorenson, who said that Marriott has “seen significant growth in all digital channels … What has declined a bit would be travel agents, in part because people are moving online and doing things themselves.”

Agents who spoke to Travel Market Report say Marriott is reaping the fallout from its own policies, which have disrespected travel agents in favor of direct bookings from consumers.

“Marriott is probably seeing a decline in bookings from travel agents because they have been the first to cut commissions and do everything possible to cut us out. Because of this, they are never the first option I offer clients,” said Susanne Yonts, Certified Travel Consultant at Any Seasons Travel in Odessa, Texas.

“Also, I rarely if ever book hotels direct," she added. "There is a lack of trust that hotels will actually pay commission if we book direct. By booking with a tour operator, we know we are going to get paid and we know we have backup if anything goes wrong. Unless they are getting reports about individual agencies from the tour operators, they will never know if we are booking or not.”

Get the full story at Travel Market Report