NEST, the Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel, launched NESTHotels, a proprietary booking engine for home-based travel agents. The web-based system places a hotel inventory of 76,000 properties at the agents' fingertips, all of which are bookable without a GDS, said Kathryn Mazza-Burney, president of the marketing organization for home-based agents. An itinerary-builder shopping cart function allows multiple bookings in a single session, with guest information only being entered once. Other key features include real-time credit card validation and e-mail confirmation for booking or canceling a reservation. A commission-processing and reporting function automates the collecting of hotel commissions worldwide, said NEST. All currencies are converted to U.S. funds, and commission checks are sent monthly.
VACATION.COM added Tour East Holidays to its roster of preferred suppliers, saying the agreement would bring exclusive vacation packages and enhanced commissions to member agencies. Tour East offers customized programs to destinations in Asia, India, the South Pacific and the Middle East, all using four- and five-star accommodations, Vacation.com said.
YTB INTERNATIONAL reported a $3.5 million loss for the first quarter of 2008. It said total revenue for the quarter increased 77%, to $42.7 million. Revenue in the first quarter of 2007 was $24.2 million. Its number of Referring Travel Agents rose to 138,814 from 82,932, a 67% increase.
DATEBOOK: The OSSN Connecticut Chapter will meet on June 11 at 6 p.m. at the On the Border Mexican Grill in Rocky Hill. All travel industry professionals are invited to attend a joint presentation by Cyndi Miller-Aird and Christine Ruey on marketing to clients for resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico and Belize and the importance of selling travel insurance. RSVP to chapter director Bill Potuchek at (860) 887-6481 or [email protected].
FAM OF THE WEEK
Dates valid: Through Sept. 30 for overnight stays.
Sponsor: Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Fla.
Rate: $59 per room, per night, double.
Noteworthy: The renovations include a complete remodeling of all guest rooms, enhancements to the lobby and meeting rooms, and a remodeled restaurant and bar.
Contact: (888) 740-7020 or (904) 940-8000.
Home-Based Agent Editor: Donna Tunney
Phone: (508) 221-3674
For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].