MILLS, branding and customer service are among the topics
to be hashed out at the Travel Institutes 2005 National Forum in
Boston, Sept. 9 to 11. The Travel Institute is structuring its
forum around "interactive think tank formats." Throughout the
weekend, professionals from all areas of the industry will be
challenged to look at where they are professionally, consider how
they can better serve their customers and seek ways to be the
catalyst of change in the industry. The institute counts many
home-based agents among its students.
TOPICS are sponsored by American Express and
include: industry standards and card mills; marketing and brand
recognition; recruitment, compensation and retention of employees;
and meaningful customer service. Each group will be facilitated by
industry leaders, who have made a mark in their respective fields,
the Travel Institute. Results will be the stimuli for further
discussions during the weekend and will be summarized in a white
paper to be published on the Travel Institutes Web site, www.thetravelinstitute.com. Information about
attending the forum is available on the site.
WORLDHOTELS, the Americas, an independent hotel
sales, marketing and distribution firm, launched a Web portal for
travel agents. The portal, which is part of a broader travel agent
marketing campaign called Be Connected, is password-protected and
requires an e-mail address and IATA number for access. Located at
http://worldhotels.net/travelagency, the portal
features a new familiarization rate that can be booked through the
site, details on commission payments, contests for merchandise and
travel prizes, and details about the companys 500 member
"TRAVEL AGENTS touch approximately 65% of all the
business being booked through our reservations systems to our
hotels," said Tom Griffiths, vice president. He said the two key
elements of the Be Connected campaign include a new method for
booking the travel agent rate and a monthly familiarization rate at
a featured property to encourage agents to visit member hotels.
Information about both items is found on the new travel agent
FAM OF THE WEEK
Departure: Aug. 31 from Miami to Buenos Aires via
Length: Seven nights.
Sponsor: Tara Tours, Miami Springs, Fla.
Cost: $1,699 per person, double. Includes
roundtrip air, accommodations, daily breakfast, some other meals,
sightseeing entrance fees and transfers.
Trip: Spends four nights in Buenos Aires and three
nights in Calafate.
Noteworthy: Rate for a second travel agent is $100
additional. Departure taxes are not included. Companions are
eligible to participate at an additional cost.
Contact: (305) 871-1246; fax: (305) 871-0417;
e-mail: [email protected].