VACATION CENTER plans to open an office in south Florida
by the third quarter of this year. The host agency said the new
location would provide increased support to its network of
independently owned and operated affiliates, as well as deepen
relationships with nearby cruise vendors. The agency's headquarters
will remain in San Diego. Vicki Freed, senior vice president of
sales and marketing for Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines, welcomed
the news. "By having an AVC office at our fingertips, we look
forward to furthering our already strong relationship with the
company," she said.
CARIBBEAN remains the most popular cruise destination, and
travel agents expect that cruise sales to the region in 2007 will
surpass sales in 2006, according to a poll conducted by the Cruise
Lines International Association. Eighty percent of more than 500
CLIA travel agents named the destination as the most popular among
their customers, and 88% reported that the total number of
Caribbean cruises sold at their agencies in 2006 increased over
2005. Ninety-three percent of agents predicted that 2007 sales
totals would surpass 2006 levels.
UPDATE: Royal Caribbean International rolled out an online
training program called the University of WOW, designed to teach
agents about brand itineraries, services and other tools offered by
the line. Royal Caribbean said that agents would earn five credits
toward a CLIA certification upon graduation from the program, and
would also be able to earn Royal Caribbean rewards in the process.
Retailers can register at www.cruisingpower.com. As agents complete
training levels they will earn incremental incentives such as
discounted and free cruises.
PERSON: The Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel
appointed Rosemary Sarkis service director. Sarkis is responsible
for maintaining one-on-one contact with NEST members and providing
training in all of the organization's products and programs. NEST,
based in Oyster Bay, N.Y., is a marketing organization for at-home
travel agents. Sarkis has travel retail experience with Austin
Travel, Harmony Travel, Power Travel and as a home-based
FAM OF THE
Trip: Visits Barcelona, Granada, Madrid,
Seville and Valencia.
Departures: Fridays through 2007 from New
York or Los Angeles to Madrid via British Airways.
Length: Eight nights.
Sponsor: Tours Specialists, Palm Harbor,
Cost: $1,700 from New York or $1,900 from
Los Angeles, per person, double. Includes air, hotel, some meals,
sightseeing and transfers.
Noteworthy: Companions are eligible for
$100 additional. Air from other gateways is available. Airline
taxes are not included.
Contact: (800) 223-7552; fax: (727)
784-7520; e-mail: [email protected].
Agent Editor: Donna Tunney
Phone: (508) 221-3674
opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].