Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: Nov. 5 2007

VACATION.COM is encouraging member agencies to submit an updated client contact list in order to take full advantage of the Engagement direct-marketing program. The consortium is providing an incentive of hundreds of free pieces of direct mail for agencies that submit an updated list by Nov. 16. Members can opt-in to each individual campaign offered by suppliers and have mail sent directly to their clients for free or at a nominal cost. For more details, agents can call the membership department at (800) 843-0733 or e-mail [email protected].

STARTOURS AWESOME VACATIONS, a tour operator based in Detroit, is looking to make its name better known among home-based retailers. Owner Glen Mullins, a former owner of Keytours, founded Startours in 2002. "For 30 years I have followed the traditional methods of distribution to get our message to travel agents. Direct mail, sales calls, trade shows, faxes. Today, e-mailing and the Internet have been added to the list. However, our dilemma is getting to the growing number of home-based agents who are out there. We welcome all travel providers, both store-front and home-based and urge all agents to send us their particulars for registration," said Mullins. The operator offers a combination of rail-only, hotel-only, theater-only and complete rail/hotel vacations from the Windsor/Detroit area to Toronto, Niagara Falls and Chicago. It pays 10% commission to its registered agencies. Learn more at [email protected].

THROUGH THE PORT HOLE: After 13 years in Boston, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Majesty departed the city's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal on Oct. 12 for the last time. The NCL vessel has been repositioned to Charleston, S.C., and will be replaced by the Norwegian Dream in May 2008. The Dream will operate seven-day sailings to Bermuda in the spring and fall seasons. Meanwhile, the Majesty will sail to Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Key West from Charleston.

DATEBOOK: The OSSN Austin (Texas) Chapter will meet Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. for a dinner seminar with Carnival Cruise Lines. The chapter will welcome OSSN agents, as well as non-members, at Joe's Crab Shack. The meeting fee for non-members is $10 per person. A Carnival representative will discuss ideas for agents to increase their bottom lines. Agents should RSVP via e-mail to [email protected].

FAM OF THE WEEK

India

Trip: Spends two nights in Calcutta and eight days cruising the Brahmaputra River aboard the 24-passenger Sukapha.

Departure: Dec. 5 from Calcutta, land only.

Length: Nine nights.

Sponsor: Value World Tours, Fountain Valley, Calif.

Cost: $1,595 per person, double. Includes hotel, some meals during the land portion of the trip, air within India, sightseeing, upper-deck cabin accommodations on the cruise, all meals on the cruise and guided shore excursions.

Noteworthy: Companions are eligible for $100 additional; the single supplement is $595. Port charges and visa fees are not included. Air can be arranged.

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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