Marriott International is introducing sweeping new policies to curb
what it sees as abuse of its trademarks. The move will alter the
way online and offline travel-sellers market the chain’s
Oral Muir, Marriott’s director of global e-commerce channels,
said the guidelines for online and off-line marketers will be
introduced this month, and implemented by the end of the year.
“The substance will be very much the same,” Muir said, although
the offline version will cover standards for using the company’s
trademarks in print ads and brochures.
The guidelines, backed by a range of enforcement actions,
stipulate that “an online travel company may not use any Marriott
trademark in the text or title of any paid search ad.”
This would apply to paid ads in search engines such as Yahoo and
Google, travel research Web sites such as Expedia’s TripAdvisor and
USBestHotels.com, and comparison shopping sites such as NexTag or
Sidestep, the guidelines note.
The trademark provisos apply to hotel brands Marriott, JW
Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn,
TownePlace Suites, Springhill Suites, Marriott Vacation Club,
Ritz-Carlton, ExecuStay and Marriott Executive Apartments, as well
as to the Marriott Rewards and Escape! Packages brands.
Online travel companies, according to Marriott’s rules, “may not
bid on keyword terms containing Marriott trademarks, whether alone
or in conjunction with other terms.”
In addition, Marriott wants to prohibit Web sites from using any
Marriott trademark in a Web address without prior permission.
The standards also cover search-engine optimization, the tactics
that many Web retailers use to pack their sites with words and
phrases designed to trigger search-engine responses so that their
site will appear higher among search results.
Southwest to Return to Denver in ’06
Southwest Airlines said it will begin service from Denver in early
2006, citing a dramatic reduction in costs at Denver International
Airport, growth in the community and aircraft availability created
by Hurricane Katrina-related schedule changes.
Southwest previously served the Denver market from 1983 to 1986
from Stapleton International Airport (which closed in 1995), and
CEO Gary Kelly said that Southwest has been studying the
possibility of a return for “quite some time.” Kelly added that the
Denver Airport was ranked number one for on-time arrivals in 2004,
“making the airport a great fit for Southwest’s quick aircraft turn
Customers have been asking when Southwest would start to serve
Colorado, especially since Southwest already is the largest
operator at Chicago (Midway) and in California, Phoenix and Las
Southwest plans to soon release details of its Denver routes,
schedule and pricing, and Kelly said that the airline hopes its
Denver operation will eventually grow to more than 38 daily
flights, the amount it currently offers from Seattle.
Hurricane Wilma Slams Cancun
After Hurricane Wilma battered Cancun, Mexico, officials took
stock of the popular tourist spot and hoped for the best as the
winter travel season approaches. President Vicente Fox said that
after a couple of months of repair, as much as 90 percent of
Cancun’s tourism capacity could be restored, according to reports,
but others say with the amount of devastation, it could take much
Already tens of thousands of tourists have been evacuated many
from the U.S. The three Marriott resorts in Cancun will be closed
through December, and the Ritz-Carlton Cancun, which also closed,
isn’t taking reservations until next year, according to
Last year, Cancun hosted 3 million visitors, officials say, and
tourism brings Mexico $11 billion each year.
US Airways to Take Tour Line In-house
US Airways, newly merged with America West Airlines, decided to
phase out its 11-year relationship with the Mark Travel Corp. and
bring all of its US Airways Vacations operation in-house, beginning
Mark Travel will continue to operate US Airways Vacations in the
Caribbean and Europe until late spring 2006, though both sides say
the date is flexible.
American, Lan, Get Antitrust Immunity
The Transportation Department recently granted antitrust
immunity to a three-way alliance of American, LAN Peru and Chile’s
The immunity allows for coordinated marketing and pricing, but
the agency excluded revenue pooling or pricing, inventory and
yield-management coordination for Miami-Lima where American and LAN
Peru have the only nonstops.
Insight Offers Agency Referral Program
Insight Vacations has introduced its new Refer an Agent program
in an effort to express continued support for the travel agent
When consumers call into Insight, they will be immediately asked
if they would like to be referred to an Insight selling agent in
their area. The company also plans to relaunch its Find an Agent
search engine on their Web site by the end of this year.
Post Storm: Free Job Bank Assists Workers
During its first month of operation, the www.katrinajobs.org Web
site received 5,000 job postings from more than 800 employers from
across the country.
Travel companies such as Hyatt Hotels, Expedia and the Venetian
Resort Casino are using a service known as “autoposting,” allowing
the employers to post all of their available jobs to the Web site
Developed jointly by the Travel Industry Association of America
(TIA), in partnership with the Travel & Tourism Coalition and
the Travel Business Roundtable, the free job bank was created to
assist workers displaced by the storm. The Web site was designed
and developed by USDM.net.
Virtuoso, the luxury travel network, recently announced that the
company is undertaking a significant corporate restructuring. All
staff and departments are being realigned under three key areas:
marketing, sales and operations. Officials say 90 percent of the
previous staff remains with the company, but 95 percent of
employees will have a change of title, duty or department.
Based on trade analysis that includes a report Virtuoso
commissioned by industry experts, WeCan Partners, luxury spending
in the U.S. will experience significant growth within the next five
years. Virtuoso officials said that reorganization will help the
company keep pace with demand and maintain relevance.
“We have organized Virtuoso to meet the demands of our members,
their consultants and our preferred suppliers, while positioning us
to handle the
opportunities and address the challenges ahead,” said Matthew
Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso. “We sincerely believe that this bold
move recognizes current talent, expands our talent pool and enables
us to sustain our leadership position in the travel industry for
many years to come.”
The executive team will report to Kristi Jones, president.
Executive vice president and chief financial officer, David Hansen,
will expand his role to executive vice president of operations,
while Virtuoso is interviewing candidates for the exec-utive vice
presidents of marketing and sales positions. Mauricio Leyton will
become vice president of member sales, as Albert Herrera assumes
the role of vice president of hotels and resorts.
Keith Waldon, the branding executive behind Virtuoso’s name
change five years ago, moves to vice president of alliances and
travel clubs. Eli Weir will fulfill the role of vice president,
Promoted to managing directors are Mary Kleen, cruise industry
sales; Ann Van Leeuwen, sales consultant development; Jim Osborne,
air/car/services; Cathy Holler, on-sites/tour/adventure/speciality
operators; Terrie Lonergan, publishing; and Melisa Lunt, direct