Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: April 2, 2007

THE MONACO-BASED United Federation of Travel Agents Associations is creating its own travel agent ID program. The Travel Industry Pass, or TIP Card, is in beta testing with 4,000 agents. Its embedded photo and magnetic stripe technology are intended to identify bona fide travel agents. UFTAA announced its plan around the same time that the Association of Canadian Travel Agents rolled out an ID card program in Canada and ARTA said it planned to develop an industry-supported ID card in the U.S. and Canada. The initiatives are in response to growing questions about why the dominant accreditation and ID card for agents who don't sell air should be issued by IATA, an airline trade organization. For about 20 years, UFTAA supported the IATA ID program outside the U.S., but that arrangement ended in December, noted Birger Backman, senior advisor to UFTAA.

AT-HOME AGENTS in New Jersey area are invited to attend a series of seminars sponsored by the South/Central New Jersey Chapter of the Outside Sales Support Network. Participants do not have to be OSSN members. The cost of each event is $10. A bevy of industry suppliers are pegged to present educational programs. All seminars will be held at the East Grand Buffet in East Brunswick. All begin at 6 p.m. The entry fee includes dinner. Here's a rundown of featured suppliers:

  • April 12: Tourlite, Michelangelo Tours of Italy, Swan Tours, Keith Prowse, Travel Insured.
  • May 8: Walt Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World.
  • June 5: Islands in the Sun/ATS Tours, Lion World Tours, Couples Resorts, Universal Orlando Parks and Resorts, Spanish Heritage Tours.
  • June 20: CLIA Class and Mini Trade Show
  • Travel suppliers that would like to be featured in a future chapter event can email [email protected].

    EDUCATION UPDATE: Sandals Resorts will showcase its renovations and new partnerships at its 16 Caribbean all-inclusive resorts to travel agents in the Midwest, Massachusetts and New Jersey this spring. More locations will follow in late spring and summer. Events planned follow:

  • April 4, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
  • April 24, Sheraton Newark Airport, Newark, N.J.
  • April 25, Marriott Boston Burlington, Burlington, Mass.
  • Registration and the trade show exhibit begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a presentation at 7 p.m. To register, call (800) 48-SPECIAL.

    FAM OF THE WEEK

    China

    Trip: Visits Beijing, Dunhung, Kashgar, Lanzhou, Turpan and Urumqi.

    Departure: May 11 from Los Angeles to Beijing via Air China.

    Length: 11 nights.

    Sponsor: Pacific Holidays, New York.

    Cost: $2,495 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, accommodations, sightseeing, all meals and transfers, including air within China.

    Noteworthy: The companion rate is $200 additional. A three-night extension to Qufu and Mount Tai is offered for $699 per agent and $799 per companion.

    Contact: (800) 355-8025; e-mail: [email protected].

    Home-Based Agent Editor: Donna Tunney

    Phone: (508) 221-3674

    [email protected]

    For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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