Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: July 2, 2007

PATH, the Professional Association of Travel Hosts, began accepting travel suppliers as members. PATH, a nonprofit entity, said home-based travel agents are the fastest-growing segment of the travel distribution system and are "probably the most elusive." The group said it provides access and a software program that enables supplier members to reach home-based sellers. Initial supplier memberships that provide a link from the PATH web site cost $1,000; those that provide a listing on the site cost $500. More details are at www.pathonline.travel.

CRUISE AND TRAVEL UNIVERSITY hired veteran industry consultant Marc Mancini to create a new curriculum for its training programs. "With the rapid changes taking place in the demographics of the travel agent community, I felt it was time to adjust our offerings," said Charlie Dubinsky, president of Cruise and Travel Agents, CTUs parent organization. Dubinsky said the retail travel industry is seeing an influx of "mature career-changers who already have many valuable, ready-made sales skills but who lack basic industry knowledge." He said CTU also is seeing younger, entry-level agents whose education was not as strong as that of previous generations." More information about CTU is at www.cruiseandtravelagents.com.

KATE DELOSSO, a home-based agent affiliated with Travel Counsellors, a U.K.-based host agency, earned the Outstanding Special Event Support award at the 2007 Pearl S. Buck International Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. In 1976, DeLosso and her husband adopted their oldest son from Korea. Since then she has helped raise cultural awareness and financial support for childrens programs. In 1996, DeLosso organized the first Motherland Tour to Korea for Korean-American adoptees and their families. Now an annual event, the trip helps adoptees to explore their cultural heritage as well as their birth country. Other trips followed and helped to endow the Buck organization. DeLosso is affiliated with Travel Counsellors' U.S. division.

TOUR DESK: Citing the organization's "commitment to membership" and its "strong product offering," Virtuoso enabled Classic Vacations to again function as a preferred supplier. The agent organization in 2003 nixed Classic from its preferred-supplier ranks, saying that its owner, Expedia, was a competitor to traditional retailers.

FAM OF THE WEEK

China

Trip: Three nights in Beijing, two nights in Shanghai and a five-day cruise on the Yangtze River.

Departure: Nov. 9 from Beijing.

Length: Nine nights, including a cruise on the Victoria Empress.

Sponsor: Value World Tours, Fountain Valley, Calif.

Cost: $699 per person, double. Includes hotel and some meals during the land portion; sightseeing throughout; twin standard, outside cabin accommodations on the cruise with full board; and guided shore excursions.

Noteworthy: Companions are eligible for $100 additional. Port charges ($75) and visa fees ($100) not included. Air can be arranged.

Contact: (800) 795-1633; 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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