Travel Weekly's Home-based Agent E-letter: Sept. 24, 2007

SINCE ITS OFFICIAL LAUNCH last spring, CLIA's Luxury Cruise Specialist (LCS) certification program has attracted nearly 100 CLIA member agents who signed up for the program and 15 who have completed certification. "With annual growth often in double digits, the luxury segment of travel represents a tremendous opportunity for today's travel agents," said Terry Dale, CLIA's president and CEO. The LCS program defines and clarifies luxury cruises for travel agents who are new to selling deluxe cruises, and provides a base of knowledge on two types of upscale cruise experiences available aboard CLIA member line ships: the all-luxury category of cruise ships and luxury categories of accommodations and other services on vessels offering a wide range of price categories. There are prerequisites to the course and a $30 enrollment fee. Details are at

REACTING TO CARNIVAL CORP.'S decision to no longer pay commission on the air portion of its cruise lines' air-cruise packages, ASTA predicted the move would "further erode the usefulness" of the package service by creating a further disincentive for agents to book it. The change, which takes effect in October, also would diminish the usefulness of the Carnival product in the eyes of many consumers, ASTA said. Leisure-focused agents who do not sell air will be forced to find work-arounds and further complications may be introduced into travel agency fee structures, the society said. Many home-based agents specialize in selling cruises and earn most of their revenue from that industry segment.

VACATION.COM ADDED VIRGIN ATLANTIC as a preferred supplier, and the agreement enables member agents to claim their commissions at the point of sale on qualifying tickets sold in the U.S. "We are delighted to be working with a global air partner who recognizes the value of travel agents and in particular members of Paying at-source commissions along with the recognized quality of their product will drive our membership to offer and sell Virgin Atlantic whenever possible," said Steve Tracas, president and CEO of Virgin serves every continent except South America from 10 U.S. gateway cities, and offers three classes of travel.

DATEBOOK: OSSN's Cleveland chapter will launch its 2007 new-members campaign at its next meeting, on Sept. 27. The chapter's recruiting kickoff will start at 7 p.m. at Mavis Winkle's Restaurant and Pub (5005 Rockside Road) in Independence, Ohio. Norwegian Cruise Line will sponsor the meeting and present the latest details about its new Web site enhancements. The meeting is open to OSSN agents and non-member agents. Every attendee will be entered in a random drawing for a free one-year OSSN membership. Other drawings will be held for door prizes donated by the Cleveland Indians, Avon Products, the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, and other supporters. Agents can contact Lois Osborne, chapter director, at [email protected].


New Zealand

Trip: Visits Auckland, Christchurch, Milford Sound, Mount Cook, Queenstown and Rotorua.

Departure: Oct. 23 from Los Angeles to Auckland on Air Pacific.

Length: Seven nights.

Sponsor: Pacific Holidays, New York.

Cost: $1,850 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, accommodations, daily breakfast, transportation and sightseeing.

Noteworthy: The companion rate is $2,550 per person. A two-night extension to Fiji can be added for $295 per person, double.

Contact: (800) 355-8025; fax: (212) 629-8882; 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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