Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: March 3, 2008

NEST, the Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel, expanded its Lifestyle Marketing direct-mail campaigns for 2008. Previously produced for its agencies on a quarterly basis, the program now offers six mailings per year in the niche markets of romance travel, family travel, weekend escapes, luxury travel, fall savings and baby boomer travel. Agencies are notified in advance of each promotion, and they can select the clients they feel would be most receptive to offers.

UNIWORLD rolled out its Uniworld Grand River Cruise Specialist Program, an agent rewards program that offers free cruises to agents and exclusive offers and savings for their clients. A spokeswoman for Uniworld said home-based/independent agents can participate if they have an IATA number or are affiliated with an agency that is IATA-appointed. Among the initiatives are savings on the travel agent rate, booking contests, bonus commissions, free cruises for agents who book six staterooms in 60 days and placement in Uniworld's online consumer-referral program.

AMERICA'S VACATION CENTER launched a Web portal that gives its home-based agents and independent affiliates direct-booking access to tour and vacation-package inventory. Michael Anderson, AVC's vice president of development, said the new Vacation Explorer Beta, an enhancement to AVCs Agent Power desktop, will simplify the tour-booking process for its travel sellers. "Prior to Vacation Explorer Beta, AVC's independent affiliates needed to call the tour operator or vacation wholesaler's reservations department or use their respective online booking systems in order to complete a reservation," Anderson said. "With Vacation Explorer, they now have the ability to book live inventory."

IN YOUR POCKET: Effective this week, agents can book commissionable options for Collette Vacations tours departing May 1 or later. Agents will receive a 5% commission on all pre-sold optional tours and sightseeing. According to Collette, it has not added more options to its itineraries. Rather, Colette has taken its existing options and made them commissionable to agents.

A river cruise through the Burgundy region.
Departure: April 5 from Paris, cruise only.
Length: Six nights aboard the Libellule on the Saone River.
Sponsor: Abercrombie & Kent, Oak Brook, Ill.
Cost: $1,088 per person, double. All meals onboard, motorcoach transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees are included.
Noteworthy: Companions are eligible. Upper-deck accommodations are $250 additional. The single supplement is $400. Roundtrip Paris-Lyon/Dijon-Paris rail transfers are not included and are $300 additional. Agents must fax to Grace Porter a copy of the agency IATA list, their business card and a letter from the agency owner or manager authorizing participation.
Contact: fax: (630) 954-3324.

Home-Based Agent Editor: Donna Tunney
(508) 221-3674
[email protected] 
For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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