HURRICANES and higher gas
prices have not affected the travel bookings of most home-based
travel agents, according to the Network of Entrepreneurs Selling
Travels "Flying High Flash Poll" taken recently at the NEST member
conference in Las Vegas. The majority (86%) of those surveyed said
that Katrina has not affected their business, while only 15% said
that people are spending less on travel since the hurricane hit.
Similarly, 81% said that higher gas prices have not affected their
travel business, and 10% said that people are spending less on
travel since gas prices soared.
THE POLL also ventured into another area of the
travel business that is equally pressing for agents: relationships
with suppliers. When asked if they, as home-based travel agents,
feel supported by suppliers, 57% said yes, 40% responded somewhat
and 3% said no. But, the majority (78%) said that support levels
from suppliers have increased over the past few years.
ASTA members overwhelmingly approved a new
membership fee structure that offers two levels of service. Under
the system, independent agents can opt to pay $250 for a core
membership that includes online services such as peer assistance,
an electronic library with responses to frequently asked questions,
a Broken Promises list of suppliers that have failed to honor agent
commitments and an industry business number.
PREMIUM member agencies will pay dues of $2,500 per year
for personalized assistance from ASTAs account management team,
customized research, extensive networking opportunities and a
higher level of involvement in federal and state government
FAM OF THE WEEK
Departures: Nov. 12 from Ho Chi Minh City,
Vietnam, cruise only.
Length: Eight days aboard the Mekong Pandaw.
Sponsor: Value World Tours, Fountain Valley,
Cost: $699 per person, double. Includes lower-deck
cabin, three meals per day, onboard activities and all shore
Trip: Visits Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Mount
Nui Sam, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia; and Cai Be, Chau Doc
and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Noteworthy: The companion rate is $100 additional.
Single rates can be arranged.
Contact: (800) 795-1633; e-mail: [email protected].