Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: May 14, 2007

NEST, the Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel, has a new president, Kathryn Mazza-Burney. She was promoted from executive vice president of sales. NEST, which is owned by American Marketing Group, is a marketing organization for home-based travel retailers. Mazza-Burney will oversee day-to-day operations and strategic planning. She also serves as executive vice president of sales and service for Travelsavers.

OSSN, the Outside Sales Support Network, said 108 home-based agents were at its 2007 OSSN International Conference from May 2 to 9 in India. The group, a record number of home-based agents traveling to India for sales training, combined tours and events in New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Udaipur with sales seminars conducted by India Tourism. Agents departed from Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, arriving in New Delhi for the start of the conference. Eastbound Tours operated the conference in partnership with Kartagener & Associates, Air India, and India Tourism. OSSN represents 6,000 agents with 63 chapters across North America.

ASTA on June 11 will hold its first Business Summit, a roundtable event for Premium Members of the society to discuss the critical issues that affect their businesses and the industry as a whole. The one-day forum, to take place in Washington at Marriott's Renaissance M Street Hotel, is being held in conjunction with ASTA's Legislative Day on June 12. Premium Members are invited to attend both events as part of their membership. Topics to be discussed include regulators' renewed interest in auditing businesses with independent contractors, ARC's movement toward same-day reporting and the shortage of qualified travel agents. Premium Members interested in attending are encouraged to contact Jeffrey Feagin at (703) 739-6827 or via e-mail at [email protected].

ARTA, the Association of Retail Travel Agents, which is in the process of creating a new industry-sponsored agent identification program, said participants in its initial focus group are now an "official" working group. Representatives from Amtrak, Avis Budget Group, Disney Destinations, Marriott, Pleasant Holidays, Southwest and Specialty Global Insurance are part of the focus group. ARTA's chairman, Barry Richcreek, said the ARTA plan won't replace the IATAN ID card but will have higher standards. Participants are exploring ways to make more agent-specific data on productivity and specialties available to suppliers.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Mexico

Trip: A three-night, all-inclusive stay at Desire Los Cabos.

Dates valid: For arrivals through Dec. 20.

Sponsor: Desire Resort & Spa, Los Cabos, Mexico.

Cost: $80 per person, per night, for up to three nights. Additional nights can be booked at a 50% discount off superior room rates. Includes meals and premium alcoholic beverages; entertainment programs; access to the hotel's sauna, steam room and fitness center; and hotel taxes and tips.

Contact: E-mail: [email protected] with "Travel Agent Special" clearly identified in the request.

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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