Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: June 4, 2007

JOYSTAR has joined Vacation.com. The move enables the host agency's members to participate in Vacation.com's Engagement direct-marketing program. "After assessing several of the top leisure travel groups, we concluded Vacation.com offered the most comprehensive marketing package to meet the diverse needs of our travel agency partners," said Aleic Grant, vice president of business development, Joystar brands. Joystar agents can participate in Vacation.com programs such as regional and online educational events and a variety of familiarization trips and seminars at sea. They are eligible to attend the Vacation.com International Conference & Trade Show in New Orleans, June 27 to July 1.

ASTA on June 11 will hold its first Business Summit, a roundtable event for Premium members. Critical issues that affect members' businesses will be discussed. The one-day forum, held in Washington at the Renaissance M Street Hotel, is being held in conjunction with ASTA's Legislative Day on June 12. On the table will be such topics as regulators' renewed interest in auditing businesses with independent contractors, the airlines' renewed discussions on reducing or passing on credit card merchant fees, ARC's movement toward same-day reporting and the shortage of qualified travel agents. Premium members interested in attending can contact Jeffrey Feagin at (703) 739-6827 or via e-mail at [email protected].

IATA, the organization behind the IATAN identification card that enables bonafide agents to qualify for industry perks, said it would step up the marketing of its ID card, adding value and promoting it more effectively. The move comes as other industry groups, including ARTA, are developing their own criteria for competitor agent ID cards. Humberto Rivero, IATA regional director for the Americas, told Travel Weekly that the IATA board is looking to add more online services for cardholders, such as the ability to access and update their own accounts. It also wants to bring more supplier-sponsored benefits to cardholders. Agents qualify for the IATAN card based on earnings.

TOUR DESK: Travel Impressions is now offering packages for several Canadian destinations such as Whistler, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Niagara Falls and Tremblant, and in the cities of Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax. The operator is offering a 15% commission for every Canada booking made through July 31 for travel anytime. Agents will earn an additional 1% bonus when booking via www.travelimpressions.com.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Caribbean

Trip: A stay at Galley Bay, Grand Pineapple Beach or St. James's Club on Antigua; Windjammer Landing on St. Lucia; Palm Island in the Grenadines; or Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

Dates valid: Through June 30 and Sept. 1 through Nov. 15 for overnight stays.

Sponsor: Elite Island Resorts, Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Cost: All-inclusive rates range from $79 to $119 per person, single or double, per night. Rates cover meals, beverages, activities, nonmotorized water sports, resort taxes, service charges and gratuities.

Noteworthy: American Airlines is offering roundtrip fares for $169 per agent and $209 per companion. Agents must fill out a booking form at www.eliteislandresorts.com\fams. Reservations confirmed via fax only.

Contact: Fax: (954) 418-0888.

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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