Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: April 23, 2007

THE OUTSIDE SALES SUPPORT NETWORK is expanding its national leadership structure by appointing a third regional manager and approving a new chapter in Mobile, Ala. OSSN named Jeff Grieder, a home-based agent who directs the OSSN Houston Chapter, as the association's new Midwest regional manager. Grieder will support OSSN agents across 14 states: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

VACATION.COM says hotels are filling up fast for its ninth annual International Conference and Trade Show, to be held at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans from June 27 to July 1. Vacation.com said it selected New Orleans in a show of support for the city that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To register online, visit www.agentnet.com, click on "training" and follow the "Vacation.com 9th International Conference & Trade Show" link. One complimentary registration is provided for U.S. member agencies and additional registrants can be added for $129 each. "We are projecting more than 1,500 travel agent participants and an additional 300 supplier delegates for this year's conference," said Lauraday Kelley, vice president of education and training.

HOME-BASED AGENTS in Massachusetts should be aware that a bill introduced into the state House of Representatives would require each of the state's travel agencies to post a $250,000 surety bond or cease selling travel. The lead sponsor is Rep. Robert Correia. The measure does not mention home-based agents. Even if at-home agents could be covered by the bond of a host agency, some independent agents are not affiliated with any brick-and-mortar agency, and others are affiliated with a host in another state. Irene Ross, ASTA's New England chapter president, said such a law would make it difficult or impossible for small agencies and independent contractors to stay in business. She said her ASTA chapter would soon send a blitz mailing to members urging them to write letters to their representatives and to Rep. Ronald Mariano, chairman of the joint committee on financial services, where the proposal is pending.

THE NEWPORT HARBOR HOTEL AND MARINA issued a special invitation to home-based agents in the Newport, R.I., area to attend the property's grand opening celebration on May 17 and 18. Organizers said agents (and one guest each) can experience the hotel during a free night's stay, attend a local trade show and participate in tours of the area. Sign up by visiting www.newporthotel.com and click "Reservations." The group code is 0705ETRAVC.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Slovenia/Montenegro/Croatia

Trip: An Adriatic Sea cruise roundtrip from Koper, Slovenia, visiting Kotor, Montenegro, and Dubrovnik, Korcula, Ploce, Pula, Split and Zadar, Croatia.

Departure: June 24 from Koper, cruise only.

Length: Eight days aboard Classic International Cruises' Arion.

Sponsor: Value World Tours, Fountain Valley, Calif.

Cost: $999 per person, double. Includes inside cabin accommodations, all meals, five sightseeing tours and all onboard entertainment and lectures.

Noteworthy: The companion rate is $1,099, port charges are $155 and prepaid tips are $60 additional. Cabin upgrades, single cabins, transfers and air can be arranged.

Contact: (800) 795-1633; 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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