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In this article we dig into the Marriott travel agent rate familiarization program, called “Fam-tastic”, and review what you need to do to qualify for these rates vs. a standard Marriott Travel Agent rate. It’s more complicated than you might think.
Here is everything you need to know….
What is the Marriott Fam-tastic Program?
“Fam-Tastic” is Marriott’s rate familiarization program, which allows registered travel agents to book special rates at Marriott properties across the globe. It’s a way to let travel agents see Marriott properties at a discounted price so they can promote them to their customers.
The Fam-Tastic program is recognized as the industry’s premier travel advisor familiarization rate program and is offered as an exclusive benefit to qualified travel consultants who have successfully completed the Hotel Excellence! Core training and the current year’s annual Continuing Education and are employed by a valid ARC/IATA/TIDS/CLIA agency.
The Fam-Tastic rate is a discounted rate that varies by brand and is subject to availability.
Qualifying advisors are eligible to book Fam-Tastic stays (maximum four nights per stay, one visit per participating hotel per calendar year) at participating hotels.
Who is eligible for a Fam-Tastic Rate?
It’s important to note that Marriott has two different rates Travel Agents are eligible for:
- The “Fam-Tastic” Travel Agent Rate, and
- A Standard Travel Agent Rate.
Any registered Travel Agent can book a standard Travel Agent rate. However, If you want to book a “Fam-Tastic” travel agent rate there are some additional steps you need to go through.
To qualify for Fam-Tastic benefits a travel advisor has to do the following:
- Complete the Hotel Excellence! Core training.
- Complete the latest Continuing Education training.
- Ensure your profile has been updated.
- US advisors must also have a valid IATAN VER or CLIA EMBARC ID number added to their Hotel Excellence! profile.
“Fam-Tastic rates are for the exclusive use of active accredited travel advisors who are graduates of Hotel Excellence! and have completed the current year’s continued education training (“Travel Advisors”). Fam-Tastic rates are designed to afford travel Advisors the ability to familiarize themselves with our hotels and resorts. Fam-Tastic rates may not be used by anyone other than the travel advisor. For clarity, Fam-Tastic rates may not be used by a travel advisor’s family, friends, clients, or any other third party.
As soon as a your Hotel Excellence! dashboard indicates that you are “Qualified” for Fam-Tastic, stays can be booked immediately.”Marriott
How to Book a Fam-Tastic Travel Agent Rate?
Fam-Tastic rate reservations must be made in advance and can only be made via marriott.com/travelagents.
You’ll need to Log in with your MI Partner Privileges credentials. If you meet the requirements to qualify for the Fam-Tastic rate, the booking page will appear, and you may continue to search and book your Fam-Tastic reservation.
How to Book a Standard Marriott Travel Agent Rate?
Standard Travel Agent rates are much easy to book. You just need to go to the Marriott booking page and book a room with the Marriott travel agent rate code (“TVL”).
- Enter code “TVL” in the “Corporate/Promotional Code” box under “Special Rates” section of the Marriott booking page
- Then enter your travel destination, dates and hit the “find hotels” button to reveal the results.
The process is the same as when you book a room with a Marriott Corporate Code.
That said, you will still need to provide travel agent credentials when checking in, so this is not a rate code just anyone can use.
Here are the credential and ID requirements for using the Marriott travel agent rate code:
- At the time of hotel check-in, the travel advisor must provide appropriate credentials. For advisors associated with a US agency: an IATAN photo ID Card or CLIA EMARC Photo ID Card is required. For advisors associated with an agency outside the US or for advisors associated with a AAA location: a valid photo ID and a business card or employment verification letter on the letterhead of their agency is required.
- If the appropriate credentials are not presented at check-in, the hotel will charge the travel advisor the Travel Agent rate or the lowest rate available to the general public for each night of the stay.
Marriott Travel Agent Rates – How much can you save with Travel Agent Rates?
I must admit that I was surprised how little you actually can save with these rates. There are a couple of issues:
- Many Marriott hotels don’t offer them, however most of the resorts in vacation destinations do offer travel agent rates.
- The savings are not that big. I have seen anywhere from 10-40%, depending on location and time of year.
Don’t get me wrong, a 10-40% discount is still a savings, but I would have expected the travel agent rates to be in the 50% or more off range to motivate them to check out the properties and promote them to their customers. Here are a couple of rate examples:
Example 1: New York City
Example #2: Hawaii
What is Marriott Hotel Excellence?
If you want to book a Marriott Fam-Tastic rate, you are going to need to familiarize yourself with Hotel Excellence! Training Program
Hotel Excellence! (HE!) is Marriott’s online library of training for travel advisors and is a key component of Marriott’s Preferred Travel Agency (PTA) program. The training covers hotel industry knowledge, sales tips, Marriott’s portfolio of brands, pricing and commission polices and more. Plus, qualified Marriott Hotel Sales Specialists gain access to Fam-Tastic rates, their lowest industry rates, so you can experience the brands for yourself.
Marriott Travel Advisor Benefits
- Exclusive access to Fam-Tastic rates at thousands of Marriott International Hotels worldwide.
- Receive dedicated eNewsletters on our latest news, openings and more.
- CEUs for maintenance of The Travel Institute’s CTA/CTC certification, the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies certification or CLIA credits.
- Access Tools and Resources to help you sell our brands.
Agency Owner Benefits
- Receive enhanced commission as a Preferred Travel Agency (PTA).
- Provide award-winning training to your travel advisors.
- View your agency’s status with Marriott from your dashboard once logged in.
- Easily complete annual requirements for the Preferred Travel Agency program.
What’s the difference between a Standard Travel Agent Rate and a Marriott Fam-Tastic Rate?
There are a couple of key differences between these rates.
- The discount is typically higher with the Fam-tastic rate.
- You can only book 1 room (4 night maximum) at given property with a Fam-Tastic Rate, but you can book 2 rooms with a standard travel agent rate and stay as long as you want.
- You can only book a Fam-Tastic rate at a participating Marriott property one time per calendar year. Standard Travel Agent rates do not have this limit.
- You have to go through additional training to qualify for a Fam-Tastic rate, whereas any accredited travel agent can book a Travel Agent Rate.
- You can only book a Fam-Tastic rate through the Marriott Travel Agent portal, whereas you can book a standard Travel Agent Rate through the Marriott website.
Terms of the Marriott Fam-Tastic Travel Agent Rate Program
- Fam-Tastic rates are non-commissionable and do not earn Marriott Bonvoy Points, Elite night credits, or qualify for Elite member benefits® or any other loyalty points or benefits issued by Marriott International.
- Reservations for the Fam-Tastic rate must be made upon logging into hotelexcellence.marriott.com.
- The rate is available at participating properties for a minimum of one (1) night and a maximum of four (4) nights per stay.
- Rates are subject to availability and black-out dates. Advance reservations required.
- Travel advisors may book a maximum of one (1) room per stay using the Fam-Tastic rate.
- There is no limit on the number of stays the travel advisor may book in a calendar year using the Fam-Tastic rate, provided that the travel advisor may only use the Fam-Tastic rate one (1) time per calendar year at each participating property.
- Rates will be shown in USD or local currency and do not include taxes, gratuities, resort or destination fees, or other mandatory fees.
- Rate applies to one standard guest room based on double occupancy.
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Frequently Asked Questions
An IATA number is an 8-digit identification code assigned to individuals or agencies that book travel by the International Air Transport Association.
Similar to IATA numbers, these are identifiers for other members of the travel industry. “ARC” is the Airline Reporting Corporation, “TIDS” is The Travel Industry Designator Service, and “CLIA” is the Cruise Lines International Association.
Each group has unique identification code for travel agents and sales intermediaries to use when booking travel
In order to be eligible for an IATA/IATAN card, you must work for an IATA-accredited travel agency. Eligible applicants can be an owner, manager, employee or independent consultant involved in the administration, operations, or sale of travel.
A CTA is a Certified Travel Associate. You can obtain your certification through The Travel Institute.
No. Travel advisors have to pay for their stays with Marriott, but they do get a discounted travel agent rate of up to 50% off rack rates.
A maximum of one room per stay may be booked at the Marriott Travel Agent “Fam-Tastic” rate.
All brands across Marriott’s portfolio except Design Hotels, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection participate in the Fam-Tastic program.