Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: May 28, 2007

NEST, the Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel, chose Las Vegas as the site of its third annual conference, NEST FEST, Dec. 2 to 4. The event will be staged at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Kathryn Mazza-Burney, executive vice president of sales and service for NEST, said the conference would feature speakers, product training, networking and sales and marketing seminars. Agents will increase their overall knowledge of the portfolio of NEST products, including NESTDirect, CruiseNEST and NESTRewards. Also, the Golden Egg Awards will again be presented to the top-producing NEST agents of 2006. For more information, agents can contact Rosemary Sarkis at (888) 245-NEST, Ext. 3007 or by e-mailing [email protected].

MY AVC MENTOR, a program rolled out in January by host agency America's Vacation Center, is showing positive results, with the average participant doubling his or her performance with regard to sales, increasing commissions and boosting the level of customer service, AVC said. Mentor pairs are chosen based on the skills agents are looking to improve, such as shifting from a brick-and-mortar environment to home-based, using technology to increase productivity, sales techniques and group bookings. One AVC affiliate, Jomanque Cannon, who works out of Fargo, N.D., said her sales have increased by 200% since she was paired with mentor Alishah Kier, an agent in Charlotte, N.C. Agents who would like to learn more about the program can visit www.joinavc.com.

EDUCATION UPDATE: Cruise and Travel University will feature three-time Olympian Ruben Gonzalez as a speaker during the organization's educational event aboard the Carnival Liberty next December, said Charlie Dubinksy, president. Each Cruise University sailing features well-known industry speakers as instructors and usually offers several courses for CLIA credit. Travel agents interested in learning more about the program can call (954) 491-2269 or visit www.cruiseandtravelagents.com.

THROUGH THE PORTHOLE: Azamara Cruises, Celebrity's new deluxe cruise line, opened bookings for the 2008-2009 Asia season on the Azamara Quest. Azamara also announced 2008-2009 itineraries for the Quest's sister ship, the Azamara Journey, in Europe and South America. Full details are at www.azamaracruises.com.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Cambodia/Vietnam

Trip: An eight-day cruise along the Mekong and Tonle rivers between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Siem Reap, Cambodia. In addition, participants spend three nights in each of the two cities.

Departure: Sept. 12 from Ho Chi Minh City, land/cruise only.

Length: 13 nights, including eight days aboard the Tonle Pandaw.

Sponsor: Value World Tours, Fountain Valley, Calif.

Cost: $1,399 per person, double. Includes hotel, main-deck accommodations on the cruise, most meals, guided shore excursions and sightseeing.

Noteworthy: Rate for single, lower-deck accommodations is $1,499; companion rate is $1,499. Port charges ($120) and visa fees (Vietnam, $95; Cambodia, $25) are not included.

Contact: (800) 795-1633; e-mail: [email protected].

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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