Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: Nov. 29, 2004

MONTROSE TRAVEL in Montrose, Calif., launched Mtravel.com, a program for home-based agents. Montrose is a $100 million travel-management company. Andi McClure-Mysza, a co-owner of Montrose with her brother, Joe McClure, said the firm has been working with independent contractors in a host-agency capacity since 1973. "Due to the evolving trends and increased demand in the industry for strong, reliable and aggressive host agencies, Montrose Travel invested heavily in the development of the new MTravel.com brand to expand its reach into the home-based agent market," she said.

MTRAVEL.COM will offer "strong commissions with no minimums" as well as an agent-only Web site with marketing and accounting support. According to McClure-Mysza, the program is meant for serious travel professionals as well as inexperienced people with the desire to learn and grow a business. There are two fee and commission levels. Experienced agents will earn 70% commission, pay $399 for the first year of the affiliation and $359 to renew. Inexperienced agents will earn 50% commission, pay $299 for the first year and $259 to renew. Montrose is an Apollo agency, and there's a $30 monthly fee for the GDS, McClure-Mysza said. More information is on line at www.mtravel.com.

EDUCATION UPDATE: The Wales Tourist Board rolled out an online destination specialist program the Web site for travel professionals it launched earlier this year. Officials said the modular "e-training" program at www.traveltradewales.com is meant to increase the knowledge and confidence of international tour operators and agents selling Wales. The trade site also provides updates on tourism initiatives, attractions, accommodations, maps and other information. The password-protected, online course will consist of seven units and tests covering a range of Welsh topics, including history, mythology and geography. The program will also feature an interactive map and online discussion forum.

DATEBOOK: Marketing techniques for independent contractors is the subject of the Arkansas Outside Sales Support Network Chapter's meeting on Dec. 3 at Western Sizzlin, 2310 South 58th Street in Fort Smith. The event begins at 11 a.m. There is no cost to attend for OSSN members. Nonmembers pay a $10 fee. The featured speaker will be Melody Moorehouse, a newspaper publisher from central Arkansas, who will present information regarding the proper approach for successful newspaper advertising with a focus on small budgets and local resources. Get more details by e-mailing [email protected].

FAM OF THE WEEK Mexico

Departures: Jan. 21 to 28 daily from New York to Cancun via American Airlines.

Length: Seven nights.

Sponsor: Reko Tours, Astoria, N.Y.

Cost: $849 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, all-inclusive accommodations at the Caribe Real or Gran Costa Real (or comparable hotel) and transfers.

Noteworthy: The single supplement is $145, and the companion rate is $75 extra.

Contact: (800) 251-0230 or (718) 721-0003; fax: (718) 721-5643; e-mail: [email protected]

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