Travel Weeklys Home-based Agent E-letter: April 17, 2006

TRAVERUS, a host agency based in Dallas, is taking its travel business to the air waves with the launch this week of a weekly Internet radio program designed to drive bookings to its 150 home-based retailers. The one-hour show will air on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. EST on Voice America Internet Radio at www.voiceamerica.com. TraVerus owner David Manning said the show will feature celebrity and supplier interviews and Hot Travel Deals of the Day.

MANNING said the show will be a tool for our network of independent home-based travel agents, because they can feature their own packages on the shows Web site. Vendors can show undersold inventory on the Web site, and listeners will be able to book products. Karen Needham, business development director for Carnival Cruise Line, is the industry guest for the premier show, which airs April 18. Information about TraVerus is at www.traverus.com.

IATA backpedaled on its plan to annually test all applicants for its agent ID cards. Although the tests are already being developed, a decision about whether to go forward with the testing program -- as well as what the parameters of any testing program might be -- has been put on hold pending an Iatan advisory board meeting in May. At-home and independent agents are eligible for the ID card if they meet certain criteria. News of the program triggered negative responses from some agents, who either asserted that the tests were not necessary to certify their knowledge, doubted that they could be designed fairly or questioned whether an airline industry association was the appropriate entity to be testing agents on all manner of travel-related topics.

FAM OF THE WEEK

Europe

Departures: June 3 and Sept. 5 from London, cruise only.

Length: 13 days on Louis Cruises Calypso.

Sponsor: Sterling Vacations, Austin, Texas.

Cost: $999 per person, double.

Trip: Visits Copenhagen, Denmark; Hamburg, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; London; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Tallinn, Estonia.

Noteworthy: A guaranteed oceanview cabin is $150 additional. Companion rate is $1,099. Port taxes are not included.

Contact: (866) 345-7755; fax: (512) 345-7722; 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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