Millennium Hotels touts automated pay system

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NEW YORK -- Millennium Hotels trumpeted its new automated system for paying agent commissions by presenting checks to three New York agencies: Journeycorp, Japan Travel Bureau and ProTravel.

The centralized system consolidates commissions monthly for client stays at Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Millennium & Copthorne-branded hotels worldwide, taking into account no-shows, cancellations and shortened and extended stays, the group said.

"We felt it's important to ensure that agents don't have to go through hassles chasing down their money earned," said Robert J. Morse, Millennium Hotels and Resorts' president for the Americas.

The commission check for the month along with a detailed statement is issued in any of 41 currencies, according to preference.

John Wilson, the company's chief executive, cited Millennium's "considerable investment" in the automated payment system as a commitment to making the selling of the company's hotels and resorts a "simple, cost-effective and profitable activity for travel agents, regardless of where in the world their clients may travel."

Introduced at World Travel Market 2000 in London, the payment system was used first in Asia then Europe before moving on to the U.S., beginning with Millennium's Regal UN Plaza Hotel in New York.

Another advantage of the program is that agents can check or request data on line. Agents also can download brochures, maps, editorial material and photos from the Web site as well as research a particular property and make bookings.

Information can be imported into any system, according to a spokesman.

Although Millennium has 240,000 agencies around the globe in its database, the company intends to "work hard to include everyone, including smaller agencies that sometimes feel ignored," Morse said.

Millennium also announced a $70 million renovation and rebranding program of its 12 Regal hotels in the U.S.

As each refurbishment is completed, the property will be renamed a Millennium hotel.

A 13th property, the Millennium Broadway in New York, already is under the Millennium brand.

For more information on Millennium Hotels and Resorts, phone (800) 222-8888 or visit the Web site at www.millennium-hotels.com.

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