Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: March 6, 2006

THE OUTSIDE SALES SUPPORT NETWORK and Marriott International this month will begin a pilot program with the members of the OSSN Trade Association to implement a trail commission payment program. During the pilot, travel agents that use TRUE (OSSN's ID system for agents), have errors-and-omissions insurance and are graduates of Marriott's Hotel Excellence program will have the opportunity to receive commissions from Marriott on qualifying guest stays. The pilot is a test and the initial phase will run through Dec. 31.

TRAVEL AGENCY NETWORK JOYSTAR has launched its new agent portal, MyJoystar.com. The portal connects the Joystar's 3,000-plus agents to preferred and non-preferred travel supplier details, promotions and contract information; booking engines; CRM and accounting databases; electronic marketing tools; sales training and tutorials; and a community bulletin board.

IN OTHER JOYSTAR NEWS, Stewart Chiron has been named president of the company's cruise division. Chiron regularly appears as a cruise expert on radio stations and TV programs, including ABC's "Good Morning America." Before joining Joystar, Chiron was a vice president at Travel Services International and CEO of The Cruise Line, Inc.

IN YOUR POCKET: Maupintour, under its new ownership by Extraordinary Vacations, raised its base commission rate from 10% to 13%, with volume overrides up to 16%. For information or bookings, agents can call (888) 777-4307.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Bulgaria

Departure: March 23 from New York to Sofia via Air France.

Length: Nine nights.

Sponsor: Destination Bulgaria, Montgomery Village, Md.

Cost: $1,599 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air; four- and five-star hotel accommodations; breakfast daily and most dinners; taxes; motorcoach; sightseeing; and the services of an English-speaking guide.

Trip: Visits Arbanassi, Devin, Kovachevitsa, Leshten, Melnik, Plovdiv, Sandanski, Shiroka Kuka, Sofia, Trigrad and Veliko Tornovo.

Noteworthy: The land-only rate is $1,149 per person, double. The single supplement is $300; the companion rate is $400 more.

Contact: (301) 651-9605; e-mail: [email protected].

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