WITH: Diane Hutchins and Lisa Williams, two home-based
agents affiliated with host agency Travel Counsellors. Hutchins
reports that cruise bookings for the Caribbean and Europe are doing
well for her this spring. In fact, Hutchins, who works out of
Springfield, Va., and specializes in cruises, says she rarely gets
domestic bookings. Land trips to Italy are selling well, she said,
as are Mediterranean cruises. The at-home retailer adds that her
clients are booking four to six months in advance of their trips.
Her non-cruise Caribbean customers prefer all-inclusives, she says.
BOOKINGS also are looking lively for Williams, especially
the Florida theme parks. "I seem to have more of these than in
previous years, and clients are looking for packages, not
pieced-together travel parts." Williams, based in the Washington
area, said cruises to Panama and Costa Rica "seem to be hotter than
normal this spring and, of course, the Alaska flood is under way
for summer." Williams said all-inclusives are selling well, at both
family and adults-only resorts. Most of her customers are booking
within four to six weeks of the intended departure date.
would like to know how your spring bookings are coming along, and
where clients are asking you to send them. E-mail Donna Tunney at
RENTALS 4 AGENTS, part of the RCI Global Vacation Network,
hiked its agency commission to 20%, up from 12%. The pay spike
applies to new bookings made by March 31 for travel through June
30. A company spokeswoman said independent agents must register on
the site and provide an industry identification number, such as a
CLIA or TRUE number (offered through the Outside Sales Support
Network). The company offers resort stays and villa, cottage and
house rentals in the U.S., Italy, France and Great Britain. Its Web
site is at www.vacationrentals4agents.com. Interested retailers
also can call (866) 844-2017.
DESK: Sandals Resorts launched its Get Smart Travel Agent
Hotline to help agents obtain information quickly and correctly for
their clients. The hotline number at (866) SANDALS is open weekdays
from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and
Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
FAM OF THE
Trip: Overnight stays at the Athenaeum
Hotel & Apartments in London through March 31.
Cost: $99 per room, double, plus VAT for
stays in the hotel's executive guest rooms or $175 per room,
double, plus VAT for stays in an apartment.
Noteworthy: All requests must be made in
writing on agency stationery with the agent's IATA number and sent
via fax to the hotel's reservations manager.
Contact: fax: (800) 335-3200.
Agent Editor: Donna Tunney
Phone: (508) 221-3674
opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].