Four hundred and eighty-four members of SPIN: Senior Planners Industry Network have signed the association’s petition asking Marriott for commission parity for all intermediaries.
According to SPIN, while many of the respondents felt the commission reduction was unfair, they all agreed that if it is to be lowered, it should apply evenly to all. “Our members are angry and many noted that this will influence their site choices,” said SPIN founder Shawna Suckow.
“We deserve to be recognized for the invaluable support we provide the hotel team throughout the process.”
The association reports that the petition respondents were a good representation of its membership: more than 80 percent female, 84 per cent third- party or independent planners and 59 per cent small business owners.
“Our members have lots of influence in where meetings are placed, said SPIN executive director Tracey Smith. “Those who responded account for $1.226 billion in annual bookings – and that’s just a fraction of our membership. This discussion is not going away anytime soon.”
Third-Party Planners Provide Value
Many of the respondents noted that engaged planners provide so much value to clients, doing far more than simply blocking guest rooms. One respondent said: “Most of us are involved in every step of meetings…. We are intermediaries between the hotel and client from site selection until the last person has checked out. We don’t just walk away when the contract is signed. We deserve to be recognized for the invaluable support we provide the hotel team throughout the process.”
Another respondent said, “Customer service includes servicing those who partner with you, not only the end user. This decision is short-sighted. It’s good on paper, but bad for relationships, which is the cornerstone of the hospitality industry.”
SPIN:Senior Planners Industry Network is the world’s largest association for senior-level planners. SPIN has recently invited all hospitality professionals who have at least 10 years of experience to join their ranks.