Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: Dec. 20, 2004

PENNSYLVANIA: Look for the Pennsylvania House Tourism Commitee in 2005 to try and push through seller-of-travel regulations targeted at non-ARC, small to midsize agencies in the state including home-based retailers. At a meeting last month, several industry trade associations met with state lawmakers and proposed alternatives to the legislation, which they say would be burdensome to travel sellers. Regulations, the trade groups say, would require most agencies to be licensed and bonded.

Instead, the group offered to jump start a public-private partnership to teach consumers how to "recognize, avoid and report" travel scams. Leading the charge on behalf of agents are John Hawks of ARTA; Gary Fee of the Outside Sales Support Network; Alan Fiermonte, owner of Down2Earth Adventures in Conshohocken, Pa.; and Barry Richcreek, co-owner of Richcreek Vacation Center in Harrisburg, Pa. The four say they will test their "travel-rights" campaigns in January in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and will continue to lobby government officials to abandon the legislative option.

DFW TOURS, a major tour wholesaler and air consolidator, became a Vacation.com preferred supplier. DFW Tours was established in 1978 as a wholesale tour operator. Through the years, the company has expanded services and has become one of the nation's largest volume airline consolidator companies.

HOST AGENCY SPOTLIGHT

House of Travel, Inc.

2652 S. Glenstone Ave.

Springfield, Mo 65804

Phone: (417) 883-5244 or (800) 555-4335

Web site:www.house-of-travel.com

Years in business: 35

Number of independent contractors: 19

Cost to Join: $100 (error-and-omission insurance and first month fee)

Monthly Fees: $50

Industry Affiliations: ARC, CLIA, ASTA, Ensemble, Nacta

Commission Split: 70/30

FAM OF THE WEEK

Dominican Republic

Departures: Jan. 21 to 28, daily, from New York to Puerto Plata via American.

Length: Seven nights.

Sponsor: Reko Tours, Astoria, N.Y.

Cost: $786 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, all-inclusive accommodations and transfers.

Trip: Accommodations are at the Occidental Allegro Puerto Plata, Occidental Playa Dorada, Occidental Grand Flamengo or Marien Coral by Hilton, all in Puerto Plata.

Noteworthy: The companion rate is $75 additional; the single supplement is $145.

Contact: (800) 251-0230; fax: (718) 721-5643; e-mail: [email protected].

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