ffordability is now billed as a big
reason to attend ASTA's World Travel Congress in Seville, slated
for Nov. 6 to 11. For $755, delegates can spend a week in Spain
virtually without opening their wallets.
"The opportunity to attend the industry's premier event and
explore beautiful Spain at that price does not come along often,"
said Ralph Ferrara, ASTA congress chairman. "We are confident these
rates will encourage agents who think an international congress
isn't in their budget to reconsider."
For $755, ASTA agents will receive roundtrip air fare and five
nights' hotel accommodations; educational and product seminars;
free enrollment in the Spain Specialist program; trade show access;
a day-and-a-half of sightseeing tours; most meals; hands-on
technology training; entertainment, and entrance to networking
events and sessions with guest speakers such as former first lady
Congress highlights include an opening reception from 5 p.m. to
6:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, followed by entertainment from 6:30 p.m. to
7:30 p.m., sponsored by Royal Caribbean International/Celebrity
Chapter kick-off dinners start at 8 p.m. at a variety of
locations in and around Seville.
Morning seminar sessions will take place from Nov. 7 to 10, each
day running from 8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Seminars slated for Nov. 7 will cover Web design, creating a
meaningful workplace, customer service and a session titled the
Last Laugh, which will be on agents surviving in an Internet world,
given by Inc. magazine writer Anne Stuart. In addition, the
International Airlines Travel Agent Network will debut its "Latin
America Made Easy" video during the morning seminar sessions.
From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. is the first general session, with
a welcome by the Spain host committee and an address by ASTA
president Richard Copland.
From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., the schedule calls for the trade show.
The opening gala, sponsored by the host committee and the Tourist
Office of Spain, will kick off on Cartuja Island at 7:30 p.m.
On Nov. 8, the morning seminars will be on how to optimize PC usage
and specialist sessions on Spain, Ireland and Mexico. That day's
general session, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will feature
keynote addresses by Barbara Bush and Walt Disney Travel president
Randy Garfield, who will speak on the legacy of Walt Disney.
The trade show, following the general session, will take place
from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. That night, at 9 p.m., Israel-sponsored
entertainment will feature dance performers.
Seminars on Nov. 9 offer a session on e-mail tips. The trade
show will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by seminars from 2
p.m. to 3:15 p.m. on cybertravel specialists, family travel,
selling to the affluent and e-business.
Hands-on technology seminars are offered from 3:45 p.m. to 5
p.m. as well as product seminars on British Heritage Tours, Amtrak,
Disney and cruise lines (to be named).
Morning seminars on Nov. 10 will be on e-mail tips, negotiating
net pricing, creative marketing, reengineering your agency and
industry ethics. The general session will be from 10:30 a.m. to
noon, followed by half-day sightseeing tours in Seville and
The final gala, at 7:30 p.m., is sponsored by the Hawaii
Visitors & Convention Bureau, host of 2002's ASTA congress in
Honolulu. On Nov. 11, full-day sightseeing tours will be offered to
Carmona, Donana and Osuna.
For more details, visit ASTAnet.com or call (703) 739-2782 to
speak with a meetings representative.
-- Michele San Filippo
In tune with technology
ands-on technology seminars at
this year's ASTA World Travel Congress in Seville, Spain, are
designed to help agents untangle the Web and explain the latest
The sessions, courtesy of Galileo, will be held each day and
will cover topics ranging from e-mail tips and tricks to Web site
Sessions are designed to teach how to create Web sites, or
enhance existing sites, in order to increase profit and sales,
track the number of hits for demographic studies or eliminate huge
postage bills by utilizing the Internet.
Some of the more in-depth seminars include Navigating the Pilot,
Surfing the Internet and Web Page Design.
The Navigating the Pilot seminar is designed to educate agents
on optimizing the use of handheld devices, which promise quick ways
Agents will also learn about the benefits of accessing the
Internet via handheld devices, taking their businesses on the road,
accessing resources and instantly sending data to others.
The Surfing the Net session will show agents how to maximize the
Internet as a resource tool. The session will cover the benefits of
different Internet providers, the value of using different search
engines and search sites, how to phrase search queries to get
accurate information and how to set up a home page.
The Web Page Design seminar is designed to show the effects a
well-crafted Web site can have on business. From the basics to
advanced techniques, this seminar will take a hands-on approach to
designing and customizing a home page or Web site.
Scoop of all scoops
hile most focus on the
potential merger of United and US Air, I know the truth. An even
larger merger has taken place, resulting in the creation of the
world's largest airline.
I can reveal that the mega-airline will be named Amdelighted. I
met with the new airline's chief executive officer, Art Armstrong,
at a Krispy Kreme located between Dallas and Atlanta.
consumers be better off with the creation of Amdelighted?
"Why, of course they will. Just walk into any agency today and
look at a CRS screen. It's confusing with all those airlines, codes
and flight choices. Amdelighted is going to simplify the flying
Where have all the toilets gone?
"We are going to be the first airline to totally dispense with
drink service and cut down on our food portions.
"We're going to insist that our agent partners advise clients to
refrain from drinking water on the day prior to a flight.
"If we all cooperate, we will be able to ease those rest room
lines at the back of the aircraft."
Is there anything you can do to give us more room in your
"I'm 5'1" and I fit in those seats just fine, at least the ones
in the front of the plane.
"I hear that the ones behind the curtain have a tad less
"But once again, Amdelighted will continue to work on behalf of
its customers to solve this problem.
"Once the seat belt sign has been turned off, passengers are
free to stroll about the cabin to wait in line outside the
lavatory. It's good exercise."
Will we be seeing any schedule changes from your new airline now
that you control 83% of the country's slots?
"Well, of course we need more slots. But until we get them, we
will do everything we can to deliver more promises to our
"For instance, we have just announced that we will be increasing
our take-offs from O'Hare to Columbus, Ohio, to 13 very narrow
bodies per day. And seven of those flights will depart at 9
Richard Turen is an industry consultant and travel agency
president. Contact him at [email protected].