Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: Aug. 9, 2004

IATAN launched an initiative to "increase awareness" of its Travel Sales Intermediary endorsement program, which provides an ID card to agencies that don't have airline appointments. Cardholders generally receive reduced-rate travel and other industry privileges. Denise Ladouceur, Iatan president, said that the organization "recognized the growing trend of home-based agencies" when it created the TSI program seven years ago, but now has personalized the process and dropped its $25 application fee. The criteria for endorsement has not changed. Agents still must demonstrate that they produce at least $200,000 in gross travel sales or $20,000 in gross travel income in a 12-month period, have an errors-and-omissions insurance policy and meet certain other licensing requirements.

THE GOAL, according to a spokesman for Iatan, is to make the application process easy for home-based agents. "We have a new toll-free phone number for them to call, and that phone center is staffed with people specifically trained to assist home-based agents," he said. Previously, all Iatan card seekers called the same central number. The new number to call is (800) 294-2826, Ext. 3. Information about the TSI endorsement is on line at www.iatan.org. Iatan said 2,000 agents already hold the TSI endorsement.

VACATION.COM, seeking to "build on the success" of its CruiseCentre Merchant program, joined with Holland America Line to provide members with more opportunities to sell blocked group space aboard sailings in late 2004 and early 2005. As a precursor to launching a "full-scale risk-inventory program" in 2005 with HAL, Vacation.com has blocked select sailings starting in October and varying in duration from seven to 14 days. Itineraries include the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico and the Panama Canal. 

HOST AGENCY SPOTLIGHT

Dugan's Travels

7820 Enchanted Hills Blvd.

Suite A249

Rio Rancho, N.M. 87144

Phone: (505) 867-6650

In business since: 1997

Web:www.duganstravels.com and www.travelathome.com

Annual Sales: $3 million

Number of at-home agents: 345

Cost to join: $100

Monthly fees: $10, waived if monthly sales reach $3,000

Industry affiliations: Iatan, CLIA, Vacation.com, OSSN, Nacta, ICTA

Commission split: 75% to agent

DATEBOOK: The Central New Jersey OSSN meeting on Sept. 14 will feature Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and Central Holidays. Representatives from both companies will make presentations. Also, prepaid legal services will be addressed. The event is to be held at Denny's Restaurant on Route 18 North, in East Brunswick, N.J. Attendees can opt for beverages or beverages with dinner. For more information, e-mail [email protected].

FAM OF THE WEEK

New England

Departure: Sept. 25 from Hartford, Conn., land only.

Length: Seven nights.

Sponsor: New England Vacation Tours, West Dover, Vt.

Cost: $879 per person, double. Includes roundtrip motorcoach transportation, room, dinner every night and admission fees.

Trip: Visits Boston; Groton and Mystic, Conn.; Burlington, Montpelier, Plymouth and Woodstock, Vt.; Concord, N.H.; and Montreal.

Noteworthy: This is an agents-only trip. The single rate is $1,199. Payment must be made by agency check.

Contact: (800) 742-7669 or (802) 464-2076; fax: (802) 464-2629; e-mail: [email protected].

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