Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: Dec. 18, 2006

THE FIRST NINE home-based members of Travel Counsellors' U.S. division completed their certified travel associate tests. Curriculum, training and testing was funded by the host agency as part of its commitment to recruit and maintain the "most professional team of travel agents in the marketplace." The group participated in a 12-session online study group, facilitated by travel industry trainer Dawn Comito, using curriculum from the Travel Institute. The course would have cost the at-home members $375 each. Travel Counsellors, the largest operator of systems for home-based agents in the U.K., rolled out its U.S. unit in August. For more information, visit www.travelcounsellors.com/careers/index.htm.

PRO TRAVEL NETWORK, a host agency based in Fresno, Calif., went public. President and CEO Paul Henderson said the company, which counts approximately 6,000 affiliated home-based agencies, is looking to make acquisitions. Pro Travel will trade under the symbol PTVL.PK on Pink Sheets, a private company that operates an over-the counter market handled primarily by discount brokers. The move coincided with the firm's withdrawal as an ASTA member, but ASTA declined to reveal why the host agency departed.

IN YOUR POCKET: Travel Impressions and the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau unveiled a Lei Low in Hawaii promotion offering agents a $50 American Express Gift Cheque for each Hawaii booking (minimum of five nights) that includes "Cancel for Any Reason" Travel Protection Insurance. The offer is good on all qualifying reservations made through Dec. 31 for travel April 15 to June 15. Web site bookings earn an additional 1% commission. Details are at www.travelimpressions.com

FAM OF THE WEEK

Portugal/Spain

Trip: Visits Fatima and Lisbon, Portugal; and Barcelona, Cordoba, Costa del Sol, Granada, Madrid, Merida, Seville, Toledo and Valencia, Spain.

Departures: Sundays from New York or Los Angeles to Madrid via British Airways.

Length: 12 nights.

Sponsor: Tours Specialists, Palm Harbor, Fla.

Cost: $2,200 from New York or $2,400 from Los Angeles, per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, hotel, some meals, sightseeing and transfers.

Noteworthy: Single supplements can be arranged. Companions are eligible for $100 additional. Air from other gateways is available. Taxes are not included.

Contact: (800) 223-7552; fax: (727) 784-7520; 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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