In an exclusive interview with TMR at ILTM in Cannes, global officer digital, distribution, revenue management and global sales Brian King said the structure will actually help retail travel agents do a better job serving their clients. Agents were specifically concerned that their reps would not be able to keep up with a portfolio of 363 luxury properties, with an additional 180 in the pipeline. King said that won’t be the case. For example, a travel agent in Chicago with questions about luxury hotels in Venice would contact his local Marriott luxury rep. That rep will now have a counterpart in a Milan office with detailed information about all of Marriott’s luxury options, and while some agents may not consider JW Marriott at the same level as The Luxury Collection, having one sales contact will provide the agent with a broader range of luxury options across its eight luxury brands. King called what the company is going to do with STARS, Luxury Privileges and Accolades, a loyalty program for agents introduced by Autograph Collection earlier this year, “a riddle we need to solve.” Get the full story at Travel Market Report