INTERNATIONAL (GTI), a Florida firm that offers some
services typical of a host agency, such as marketing and tech
support to home-based agents, lost its ability to provide members
with discounted room rates at Marriott hotels. Marriott, reacting
to a recent call by ASTA for suppliers to rid our industry of the
ongoing scourge of card mills, said that effective Jan. 1, GTI
member agents no longer will qualify for the firms Famtastic rates.
MARRIOTT Vice President Fred Miller said his
company since 1998 has tracked each agencys ratio of Fantastic
rates and their Marriott sales. If the portion booked at the
cut-rate Famtastic levels surpassed a predetermined portion, the
agency lost its access to the discounted rates. He said this has
affected thousands over the years, and 10 to 15 entities lost
access to agency discounts in just the last year.
privately owned Orlando firm that says it exceeds $100 million in
annual sales, claims to have tens of thousands of agent members.
The company promotes itself as providing steep travel discounts and
opportunities for consumers to earn income by booking travel for
their friends, family and business associates -- a typical hallmark
of the card mills that sprang up in the early to
LAST several years, companies that offer their own travel
discount cards to anyone willing to pay membership fees have come
under increasing scrutiny. After paying membership fees, GTI says
members can receive up to 75% off their own travel expenses. More
information on the company is at www.globaltravel.com. The principals of the firm were
not immediately reachable for comment on Marriotts move.
DATEBOOK: An organizational meeting for the
OSSN chapter in Maryland is set for Nov. 29 in Bowie. The event
starts at 7 p.m. For details and location, e-mail chapter director
Tasha Tillman at [email protected].