Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: May 30, 2005

CONCERTED EFFORT: CLIA chose Oct. 19 as its "Worlds Largest Cruise Night," which is designed to get as many travel agencies as possible to hold a cruise-related promotional event on the same day. "In one 24-hour period on Oct. 19, hundreds upon hundreds -- and possibly thousands -- of CLIA-member travel agencies will participate," CLIA said. According to CLIA, among the ways agents could promote cruising that day: cocktail parties, luncheons and cruise nights. A link on its Web site, www.cruising.org, will take agencies to registration, as well as a resource center that will feature event tips and publicity tools. Terry Dale, CLIAs CEO, said the event would "attract widespread media attention ... this translates into increased awareness of cruise vacation sales for CLIA-member travel agencies.

HOME-BASED AGENTS can sign up for a free listing on Tours.com, a travel search engine that recently added a retailer search option. The San Francisco-based site said consumers can search for travel professionals based on the agent's specific niche or specialty. "As with all of the travel suppliers listed on Tours.com, each travel agent who registers to be listed on the site has their data personally reviewed and verified by Tours.com staff, ensuring accuracy," according to a statement on the Web site. It also noted that the site is offered in nine languages.

 

"THE GROWING popularity of our site and requests from our users provided the impetus to add this new search category to our site," said Tours.com president Maria Polk. "Our site visitors wanted an unbiased, accurate online source where they could easily find travel agents with unique specializations," she added. Tours.com is not an online travel agency, and relies on advertising -- not commissions-- for revenues, said Polk.

THROUGH THE PORTHOLE: Holland America Line instituted a new policy that limits group blocks to one per month on each ship within one sailing area. In addition, deposits will now be required when more than 32 berths are blocked. The policy will be effective with groups booked after June 1 for 2006 sailings and beyond.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Cayman Island

Dates valid: Through Dec. 18 for overnight stays.

Sponsor: Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands.

Cost: $129 per night, double. The rate is valid on one-bedroom oceanview suites in the Beach Suites wing of the resort.

Noteworthy: A maximum of five nights can be booked at the rate. Agents can take advantage of the discounted rate only once during the incentive period.

Contact: (800) 55-HYATT.

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