Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: Feb. 14, 2005

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COMMISSIONED TRAVEL AGENTS, for the first time, teamed with ASTA to run this year's Cruisefest, slated for April 7 to 10 in Miami. Using the theme More Than Just Cruises, the revamped show will focus on cruises, honeymoons, tours and all-inclusive resorts. "Cruises continue to be one of the brightest stars on our horizon. As its capacity grows, it presents many more opportunities for travel agents to expand their businesses," said ASTA President and CEO Kathy Sudeikis.

SUDEIKIS said the trade show/conference format will feature supplier roundtables and seminars, including one titled "How to Become a Home-Based Agent" and another that addresses sales techniques specifically for at-homes. Some activities will earn CLIA credits, she added. Nacta president Joanie Ogg said 22 cruise ships are slated to be in port during Cruisefest, available for agent inspections. Costs and registration details are on line at www.astanet.com/cruisefest.

LEARN ABOUT IRELAND: Brian Moore International Tours, which specializes in Ireland, is offering online seminars to travel agents this week, and at-home retailers are invited to participate. On Feb. 15, 16 and 17, Ronan Ryan, president of the company, will present four seminars daily to provide destination and product training for travel agents. "The concept is quite simple," he said. "You dial into a conference call and simultaneously view a presentation on your screen."

BENEFITS to participants include $100 in bonus commissions, 14% commission on bookings and door prizes from Ireland. To sign up, email [email protected] or log on to the firm's Web site at www.bmit.com and go to the travel agents page. For further information, contact Ryan at [email protected] or (800) 982-2299, Ext.1405.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Hawaii

Dates valid: Year-round for overnight stays.

Sponsor: Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.

Cost: $59 at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, $79 at the Princess Moana Surfrider or Sheraton Waikiki and $139 at the Royal Hawaiian. Rates are per room, per night.

Noteworthy: When booking, travel agents must ask for rate plan TAED.

Contact: (800) 782-9488; Web: www.starwoodhawaii.com/agents.

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