LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION took the wraps off its
World's Largest Cruise Night event, which is set for Oct. 17, and
it added a virtual component designed to meet the needs of
home-based agents. In the past, activities included luncheons,
cocktail parties, dinners and expos -- all promoting cruise
vacations. Using the virtual capability, retailers can hold online
events for customers. These can feature cruise videos and
customized Web pages showing agency information. More than 700
agencies conducted a World's Largest Cruise Night event in 2006. A
CLIA agent survey revealed that last year's events generated 14,860
bookings, which translated into $18.5 million in cruise sales and
more than $2.4 million in commissions.
COUNSELLORS, the U.K.-based agent network that has 800
members worldwide, surveyed retailers earlier this summer and
received some welcome news. Of the 630 agents who completed the
survey, 91% agreed with the statement, "I love my job." The survey
showed that 83% of the company's home-based agents are women and
three-quarters have children, with almost a quarter having children
under age 5. These agents have an average of 19 years experience in
the travel industry, with 60% previously holding roles as managers
or agency owners. Wanting the convenience of working from home,
wanting to spend time with family, inflexible working hours at the
office and crazy demands from management were the top four reasons
why agents left their previous jobs.
NEXION, the host agency owned by Sabre
Travel Network, changed its commission payment plan to
twice-monthly from monthly. All expenses and commissions processed
before the 15th of the month will be paid on the 30th of the same
month (with the exception of February, when agents will be paid on
the 28th or 29th). Commissions processed between the 16th and the
end of the month will be paid on the 15th of the following month.
"In any entrepreneurial setting, cash flow is vital to
profitability," said Jackie Friedman, general manager of Nexion.
"Nexion members are extraordinary entrepreneurs, and when we had
the opportunity to increase their cash flow by paying their
commissions twice a month, we jumped on it."
DATEBOOK: The Outside Sales Support
Network's Houston chapter will meet Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. for a dinner
seminar featuring Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity
Cruises. The meeting at Joe's Crab Shack is free for OSSN members
and $10 for non-members (plus the cost of the meal). Lindsay
Sirotka of Royal Caribbean and Cris De Souza of Celebrity will
discuss the e-tools available to home-based agents through
CruisingPower.com. Also, they will offer an overview of the lines'
updated CruiseMatch booking tool. Agents may RSVP via e-mail to [email protected] or by calling (832)
FAM OF THE
Trip: Visits Dublin and Galway.
Departures: Nov. 15 and 29, Dec. 6 and 13,
Jan. 24 and 31, and Feb. 7 from Boston, Chicago or New York to
Dublin via Aer Lingus.
Length: Four nights.
Sponsor: Sceptre Tours, Lynbrook,
Cost: $675 per person, double. Includes
roundtrip air, accommodations, Irish breakfast daily, sightseeing
and land transportation.
Noteworthy: Companions are eligible for the
same rate. Taxes and fees of about $95 are not included in the
Contact: (800) 221-0924.
Agent Editor: Donna Tunney
Phone: (508) 221-3674
opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].