JOANIE OGG, president of the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents (NACTA), will leave the organization today, March 10, to become senior vice president of global sales and industry relations for Travel Counsellors USA. NACTA, which she founded, has been an ASTA operation for several years. Travel Counsellors, a global host agency based in England, serves more than 900 full-time counselors based in Australia, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. Ogg will be charged with spearheading Travel Counsellor's recruitment of new counselors and strengthening the host's relationships with industry partners. Ogg will remain active in NACTA but only as a member of the trade group. No word from ASTA yet on Ogg's replacement.
TLC TRAVEL PARTNERS, a new host agency based in Des Moines, Iowa, launched operations in February and rolled out a pay structure that will provide agents with 70% to 125% commissions, depending on which plan an affiliated agent chooses. Agents who register with the host firm also receive access to StarBase, a management tool for home-based sellers. TLC said it is courting new and experienced agents and provides a "turnkey" travel agency business system. "TLC Travel Partners frees agents of the high cost of managing a travel agency infrastructure. The resultant savings go right to the agent's bottom line," said TLC Travel Partners co-founder Don Anderson.
RHODE ISLAND is on track to repeal a state law that requires travel agencies to be licensed and to carry a $10,000 bond. A bill was introduced to repeal the law this year, and the governor's proposed budget for the state's next fiscal year does not include funding for travel agency regulation. According to the state's department of business regulation, the number of agencies in Rhode Island has declined by some 40% in the last five years. There are about 80 agencies still in business, a number not large enough to "justify much manpower for licensing," said Richard Berstein, executive counsel for the department. Not everyone is happy with the idea. The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes repealing the law, saying it could make the state's agencies vulnerable to new competition from those unable to measure up to the licensing process.
DATEBOOK: The OSSN Albuquerque Chapter will meet on March 20 at 11:30 a.m. for a presentation with travel industry trainer Keith Powell. The chapter will welcome OSSN agents, as well as non-members, at the Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen (5011 Pan American Freeway NE). The meeting fee will be $20 for lunch. During the meeting, Powell will conduct a presentation on the subject of passion in the travel business. Agents should RSVP via email to [email protected] or phone, (505) 261-4375. For more industry events, view the Industry Calendar at TravelWeekly.com.
FAM OF THE WEEK
Trip: Three nights in Vienna.
Dates valid: Through March 31.
Sponsor: Tradesco Tours, Bonita Springs, Fla.
Cost: From $541 per person, double, or $905, single. Includes choice of accommodations, breakfast daily and a three-day Vienna card offering free public transportation and discounts on city attractions and shopping.
Noteworthy: Extra days can be added. Blackout dates apply from Dec. 27 to Jan. 1. Trips to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are available.
Contact: (800) 448-4321; e-mail: [email protected].
Home-Based Agent Editor: Donna Tunney
Phone: (508) 221-3674
For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].