Along with the increasing popularity of adventure travel and
ecotourism comes a heightened sense of responsibility toward those
destinations being developed for tourism.
Tom Hall, co-founder of Atlanta-based Tanzanian Adventures,
along with his brother Charles, has made it a mission to share
company profits with the country he came to love during his Peace
Corps stint in Africa some 15 years ago.
The 3-year-old tour operator focuses on selling travel to
Tanzania for travelers with a range of budgets.
was a teacher and have always had a soft spot for education," Hall
said. "Tanzania doesn't have enough teachers, schools, books or
computers, so we decided to create a foundation to help with
whatever is needed."
To that end, the company donates a percentage of its profits --
usually ranging from 5% to 10% in a given year -- to selected
schools, Hall said.
He also pointed out that all segments of the tourism industry
pay fees, which go to the Tanzanian government to bolster the local
"The government tries to make local people appreciate the
animals so they don't resort to poaching, for example, by making it
profitable for them [to comply]," he said.
This is especially important for people who live in close
proximity to the animals, which sometimes come out of the national
parks onto their farms, Hall said.
"Some farmers wouldn't think twice about shooting an elephant
that has eaten their food and trampled their crops" without the
economic incentive provided by tourism, he said.
As to the destination, Hall touted its beauty, diversity and
wildlife as well as the restraint shown by the government in
"Tanzania has taken advice from environmental organizations and
has strict policies about construction," he said.
Ngorongoro Crater, for example, with some four or five lodges
around the rim offering about 700 beds, already has reached its
construction limit, according to Hall.
Tanzanian Adventures derives about 90% of its bookings from
travel agents and pays commissions starting at 12%.
New job-posting site
If you're looking for a travel industry job -- or you're seeking
good potential employees -- check out Traveljobz.net, a
new on-line job and resume posting board.
This Sarasota, Fla.-based company enables job candidates to
search from a national base of both agent and supplier
You can conduct a targeted search allowing for a wide range of
specific choices by industry sector, job type and state, with
additional options for keyword searches.
If you post your resume (a free
service), you can immediately apply for jobs on line; you'll also
be listed in the site's database, with your resume available for
viewing by potential employers.
Resumes can even be posted anonymously, and interested employers
can contact you via your e-mail address, which will be shown as an
If you're looking for job candidates, it costs $50 to post each
position for 30 days.
Potential candidates are told to e-mail you directly if
interested in your positions.
Volume-posting discounts are also available.
Employers also can post jobs anonymously to the site. Job
candidates will still be able to e-mail their resumes to them via
"untitled" e-mail links.
For more information, call (941) 366-8040.
An introductory course
In the June 8 issue of Travel Weekly, I discussed creating or
updating your agency letter of introduction ("Put it in Writing").
When you sit down to prepare your letter, keep the following
tips in mind:Keep it to one page with three parts. The first should outline
services, and the interchangeable second section should either be
generic regarding vacation travel or specific to the market you are
closing section should repeat important services and tell the
reader why you stand out from the competition.
Remember that your "competition" is not necessarily another
agency or the Internet; I consider my competition to be any
high-priced product a consumer might choose over a vacation.Carefully proofread your letter. Spell-check is good but not
foolproof. Have other people review the letter and provide
feedback.Using a word-processing program will keep things organized.
Create a folder with the basic letter in one file and "middle"
sections in separate files. When you need a new letter, just cut
and paste.What locale or market do you want to target? Almost every city
and town has local phone directories with anywhere from a few
hundred to a few thousand names. Usually, they are published by
schools or religious, civic and local organizations.
Club membership directories are also a great source, enabling
you to target a specific group such as seniors.Start small, think big. You don't have to go through an entire
directory in a week. If you or your staff are too busy, consider
hiring a student on a temporary basis to do all of the copying,
stuffing and addressing for an entire directory or organization.
And be sure to include business cards in each letter.
Lucy Hirleman, CTC, MCC, owns Berkshire Travel in
Newfoundland, N.J. Contact her at [email protected]; fax: (973) 208-1204.