OR AT-HOME retailers who dont issue airline tickets now
can become accredited as a "verified travel consultant" with ARC,
which recently rolled out the new category. Users get access to the
organizations reporting and settlement system and to ARC
Marketplace, a Web site featuring some 5,000 commissionable,
non-air products. Agents who meet certain criteria can sign up at
www.arccorp.com. The news raised some eyebrows within
the industry, with some questioning whether the service was
valuable to the trade or simply a new revenue stream for ARC. Gary
Fee, Outside Sales Support Network president, said the
accreditation process required no qualifications beyond typical
credit and criminal record checks, a tax ID number and a business
license. Steve Tracas, president and CEO of Vacation.com, said his
group was supportive of anything that increased professionalism in
the industry. "It remains to be seen if this does that," he
cautioned, but allowed that it could be a good start.
CRUISEONE, a franchise operation with some
500 independent, cruise-only travel professionals, and Cruises
Inc., the host agency network, said theyve invested more than $1
million in upgrades to computer servers and systems in order to
ensure smooth operations and faster response time to customer
requests. The two companies, owned by World Travel Holdings, have
so far spent more than $20 million in research and development of
their proprietary system, Cruise Control, which provides real-time
access to cruise fares and has built-in CRM and back-office
RETAILER Susan Spahr joined eTravCo Travel Network as
account manager for the Northeast. EtravCo is a multi-channel
travel network offering host agency and consortia services. Spahr,
a 26-year industry veteran and owner of a home-based agency for
eight years, will be responsible for strengthening relationships
with current members and expanding the networks home-based agent
membership. Spahr can be reached at [email protected] or by calling (888)
PORTHOLE: Cruise West in 2008 will position its Spirit of
Nantucket in Alaska and change the 102-passenger ships name to the
Spirit of Glacier Bay. The ship will operate in the Glacier Bay
National Park and Preserve. Its East Coast itineraries will
continue through 2007.
FAM OF THE
Trip: Seven nights at a luxury hotel in
Bologna. Full-day visits to Florence, Venice and Verona.
Departure: Sept. 15 from New York to
Bologna via Eurofly.
Sponsor: Europe at Cost, New
Cost: 25% off guaranteed departure prices,
which start at $2,595 per person, double. Includes air, hotel,
daily breakfast, one lunch, guided tours of a cheese factory and a
wine estate, and local taxes.
Noteworthy: This trip is only for agents.
Airport taxes not included.
Contact: (800) 322-3876; e-mail: [email protected].
Agent Editor: Donna Tunney
Phone: (508) 221-3674
opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].