Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: March 19, 2007

SECRETS OF SUCCESS: Tom Ogg, owner of www.homebasedtravelagent.com, will be a featured seminar speaker at this year's Cruise-A-Thon, being held in Seattle June 1 to 4. Ogg said he'll share his secrets for turning his "hobby" Web site into "a money machine churning out a six-figure income." Called "How to Turn Your Web Site into a Money Machine," Ogg's seminar will focus on content, maximizing conversion ratios and understanding affiliate opportunities, among others. Ogg said his program "is not for the faint of heart." Details about the event are online at www.ttshows.com. Ogg has been an industry player for many years. He is the husband of Joanie Ogg, who heads the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents.

 

HELPING THE BIG EASY: Vacation.com members planning to attend the network's International Conference and Trade Show in New Orleans from June 27 to July 1 can help restore one of the city's historic sites, near Jackson Square. The network said it selected New Orleans as the site of its conference to show support for the city that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On the morning of June 27, Vacation.com members will team with Tourism Cares, the charitable offshoot of the National Tour Association and the U.S. Tour Operators Association, to assist in the restoration project. Meanwhile, a special fund has been set up enabling members to make donations to the city's restoration. Contributions can be sent to Vacation.com, 1650 King Street, Suite 450, Alexandria, Va., 22314. All checks must be made payable to Tourism Cares. To register online for the conference or learn more about it, visit www.AgentNet.com and click on "training."

THE TRAVEL INSTITUTE, the Wellesley, Mass.-based educational entity, is rolling out new member benefits including monthly white papers on timely topics; a series of teleconference sessions presented by leading industry experts; and members-only discussion boards allowing the sharing of best practices. In addition, a 5% discount on Travel Institute programs and courses has been increased to 10% and a new members-only newsletter will debut this month. "By adding these benefits for 2007, we are looking to attract a new group of travel professionals to add to our thousands of current members," said Pat Gagnon, director of program development. For more information about membership, visit www.thetravelinstitute.com.

AT-HOME AGENTS in Pennsylvania might want to keep an eye on legislation filed by state Rep. Scott Petri, who has sponsored a bill that would require the state's travel sellers to obtain a license, pass a test, sign up for ongoing education and contribute to a consumer compensation fund. Although the legislation aims to designate individuals as "licensed travel agents," it would make it illegal for a company to sell or offer to sell travel unless the managers and employees who have a role in selling travel are licensed. If the proposal becomes law, there would be a two-year hiatus before existing travel agents would have to successfully complete the required examination.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Thailand

Trip: Three nights in Bangkok and five nights in Chiang Mai.

Departures: April 9 and May 1 from Los Angeles to Bangkok via EVA Airways.

Length: Eight nights.

Sponsor: FT Tours, Los Angeles.

Cost: $1,568 per person, double. Includes air, room, most meals, sightseeing and transfers.

Noteworthy: A land-only version is available for $848 per person, double. The companion rate is $445; single supplement is $475. Air upgrades are available for $395. Add-ons from other cities are available. Optional extensions to various points in Thailand also can be arranged.

Contact: (800) 350-0487, Ext. 33; e-mail: [email protected]; Web: www.ft-tours.com/agents.

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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