Marriott’s consolidation of its sales team to sell lodging for all eight of its luxury brands is a positive for the industry, according to Acendas Travel Co-President Brent Blake.
The move was first reported by Travel Market Report earlier this week and served to answer some questions the industry had regarding the merger with Starwood Hotel and Resorts. Acendas Travel, a top 50 travel management company co-located in Kansas City and Minneapolis, has been closely monitoring the merger for its impact on the traveler.
From the travel management company’s perspective, we believe it’s a positive move,” Blake says. “We think it will bring a more efficient sourcing process to the marketplace. As TMC’s, our role and responsibility is to review and analyze multiple properties for our luxury clients’ meetings and incentive trips.”
A consolidated Marriott sales team will allow for a more streamlined process and access to knowledgeable sales representatives, which should translate to faster response times to the clients. In the end, the client benefits from the consolidated process, and that’s good news. It’s a smart move and a good start to the Marriott/Starwood merger.”
Blake says there a many factors by which Acendas Travel evaluates travel options, but the primary concerns of clients remain cost and traveler experience. The Marriott decision would appear to not negatively affect those two items.