Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: Jan. 3, 2005

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL and CELEBRITY CRUISES launched a portal for home-based agents on its agent site, cruisingpower.com. The portal provides a collection of resources and tools for home-based agents, the lines said, including marketing tools, various ways to connect with the lines' sales organizations and a "knowledge desk."

THE TRAVEL INSTITUTE, based in Wellesley, Mass., will deliver on-site training and certification at Cruise University, a 10-day educational experience aboard an eastern Caribbean cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale April 22. Agents attending this Cruise University, organized by travel agent educational organization Cruise Agent Only, will have the opportunity to earn two Travel Institute designations: Destination Specialist Caribbean and Lifestyle Specialist Honeymoons and Destination Weddings.

CRUISE UNIVERSITY: The curriculum, training and testing will be provided by the institute. In addition, the Cruise Line International Association will provide participants with the opportunity to earn up to 70 credits toward cruise counselor certifications through a variety of training programs. Cruise University is held aboard various cruise ships throughout the year. Cruise Agent Only was founded in 2002 and has over 2,700 members. For additional information, see the Web site at www.cruiseagentonly.com.

HOST AGENCY SPOTLIGHT

Name: IT Travel Group (Agency - Int'l Tours of Houston)

Address: 6363 Richmond Ave. Suite 200, Houston TX 77057-5914

Phone: (713) 785 2682

Fax: (713) 268-2626

Web site:www.ittravelgroup.com
Years in business: 30 (host program established in 1989)
Cost to join: $100
Monthly fees: $25 for Amadeus
Number of independents: 75
Annual sales: $6.5 million

Industry affiliations: ARC, Iatan, CLIA, ASTA, Nacta, OSSN

FAM OF THE WEEK Southeast Asia

Departure: March 9 from Los Angeles to Bangkok via Thai Airways.

Length: 10 nights.

Sponsor: Pacific Holidays, New York.

Cost: $1,795 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, accommodations, most meals, transfers and sightseeing.

Trip: Visits Bangkok; and Da Nang, Halong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hue, Vietnam.

Noteworthy: The companion rate is $1,995 per person. The single supplement is $385. An upgrade to business class can be purchased for $1,790.

Contact: (800) 355-8025; fax: (212) 629-9992; e-mail: [email protected].

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