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Travel Agents

 November 10, 2014
Signature Travel Network Expresses Concern About Marriott's New Free Wi-Fi Offer

 Signature is in conversation with Marriott International Inc. following their October 30th announcement that as of January 15, 2015, Marriott will offer free Wi-Fi to its 47 million Marriott Rewards members, but only if they book directly with Marriott. This new rewards benefit applies to all Marriott brands.

Alex Sharpe, president and CEO of Signature, comments, "Travelers have come to expect Wi-Fi to be available when traveling. We applaud Marriott's decision to reward repeat guests with complimentary access, but we are sincerely concerned regarding their decision to circumvent the professional travel consultants. As an industry that is built on repeat and referral business, we hope Marriott recognizes that many of their most frequent and valuable guests are customers of travel consultants. More specifically, they are the clients of travel consultants who have originally brought them to the Marriott brand."

Marriott is a long-term and valued partner to Signature and the travel agency community at large. We are hopeful that they will indeed change course and include the agency distribution channel in their plans to retain customers.

Signature Travel Network

Signature Travel Network is a member-owned, travel cooperative, headquartered in Marina del Rey, California, with a regional office in New York City. The network was established in 1956 and today includes 198 member agencies with 445 retail locations in the United States, Canada, and Brazil. Collectively, Signature members generate more than $6 billion in annual travel sales.