You’re a pro you should work with one too.

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By: Advertorial

At Starwood Hotels and Resorts, we’ve always believed in the value of Travel Agents, and our quest is to continue to expand business with the best of you. In fact, we’re changing our internal and external reference to this market to reflect the forward direction in which we want this relationship to move. We now refer to Travel Agents as Travel Professionals, as a way to reinforce our understanding of your business and our desire to do business with the most professional among you.

In the fall, we launched a new website,, as the first phase of Starwood Travel Professional Program, our renewed face to the Travel Professional community. Differentiated by content and a visual and written language, the site extends our dialog with you, the Travel Professional, providing online tools and information to facilitate your growing business.

Starwood recognizes that travelers are increasingly turning to Travel Professionals for the personal relationship and a trusted source of information. Founded on five pillarsAccess, Knowledge, Rewards, Compensation and establishes a sophisticated, user-friendly interface between Starwood and Travel Professionals. delivers easily accessible content on deals, rates, product, commissions and sales contacts, plus comprehensive hotel and brand information. Event details and news about ongoing program enhancements and content development will also be available.

Building and the additional elements of our new StarwoodPro program is a collaborative effort, requiring significant commitment from stakeholders throughout the Starwood organization. As a company, we are embracing the significant value of you and your customers to all of our internal stakeholders.

Among many features debuting throughout 2008 are enhancements to the website, educational and loyalty components that will provide continued opportunities to strengthen our partnership with you and match the right branded hotel experience with the right guest at our 850-plus properties in more than 95 countries.

Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with internationally renowned brands including St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and, premiering in 2008, the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM hotels.

Through our brands, we are well represented in most major markets around the globe. We are one of the world's largest hotel and leisure companies. We conduct our hotel and leisure business both directly and through our external subsidiaries. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high-quality vacation interval ownership resorts.

Starwood has defined our strategy to become a global branded lifestyle hospitality company as driven by our brands. We operate hotels in the Luxury, Upper Upscale, Upscale and Select Service categories. Each of our nine world-class brands has a distinct positioning with signature programming and service initiatives that bring it to life. Although our hotels and resorts may all be architecturally different on the outside, each hotel or resort within the brand builds an emotional connection with guests.

Designed to provide Travel Professionals with an opportunity to visit and gain first-hand knowledge about Starwood properties worldwide, our Travel Professional Education Program (TAED) offers Travel Professional rates for some of the world's most celebrated brands.

TA rates are 50% off rack rates at participating hotels. TAED rates start from $39 (or equivalent in local currency) for Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, Le Méridien and W Hotels, and from $139 for St. Regis and The Luxury Collection hotels. Offering special discounts on recognizable brands is another example of how Starwood supports Travel Professionals. Reservations for the TA and TAED programs can be made via the GDS or through one of our Worldwide Reservations Offices.

An enhanced Travel Professional learning and development program is on the horizon, and that will be coupled with new ways to experience our properties. A Starwood loyalty program is also forthcoming. Check often for updates on these exciting enhancements.

Also, remember that when your customers become a part of the most award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®, they will benefit from more resorts than any other frequent guest program, including 14 resorts in Hawaii. They will reach free nights faster than with most programs and, with no blackout dates or availability restrictions, they can enjoy their free nights whenever they want. Visit for more information.

Join us today at and continue to find the best options for your customers and the best decisions for your business. In North America, our dedicated Travel Professional number is 800-334-8484.

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