Travel Weeklys Home-based Agent E-letter: Aug. 30, 2004

ADVANCE BOOKINGS for fall and winter travel appear to have slowed to a trickle, some at-home agents are reporting. According to Kaye Horacek of Waco, Texas-based Vacations Unlimited, customers are not planning vacations in advance. Several [of my] clients have shown interest in Europe for next year. They seem to be waiting to see what things will be like, and wondering if the [November] election will affect safety in Europe in 2005, she said. The situation is similar for San Diego-based at-home agent John Clifford of International Travel Management. He characterized advance bookings as virtually nonexistent, adding that the last-minute trend is back with a vengeance.

MEANWHILE, clients booking last-minute trips are keeping her busy, but Horacek said shes been wasting too much time on people who call her for comparison prices. The agent said she might put this message on her phone: Vacations Unlimited travel planners work by appointment only. Please leave a message and an agent will return your call. The home-based retailer said she hopes the message will discourage those just looking for prices.

VACATION.COM on Aug. 31 will launch two tools for creating Web sites -- NexCite and Power NexCite. The tools were developed by Passport Online. NexCite enables members to include on their Web sites all exclusive preferred-supplier offers found at Vacation.coms AgentNet VacationPort. Power NexCite is a premium version of the tool.

DATEBOOK: The St. Louis chapter of OSSN will hold a meeting on Sept. 9 starting at 7 p.m. at the Maryland Heights Centre, Maryland Heights, Mo.. The featured speaker will be Oceania Cruises sales representative Tricia Huels. Theres a $10 cost for members; $20 for non-members. RSVP to Nancy Baxter at (314) 401-1517 or [email protected]. A light dinner will be served.



Departure: Oct. 15 from San Francisco to Hanoi, Vietnam, on China Airlines.

Length: 13 nights.

Sponsor: Eastern Travel, Salt Lake City.

Cost: $2,349 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, air within Asia, hotel accommodations, most meals, transfers and sightseeing.

Trip: Visits Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia; Luang Prabang and Vientiane, Laos; and Can Tho, Cat Ba Island, Chau Doc, Halong Bay, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Noteworthy: This trip is an agents-only trip. The single supplement is $550.

Contact: (801) 466-8811; fax: (801) 466-5966; e-mail: [email protected].

CLARIFICATION: The Travel Institute lowered the price of its Gay and Lesbian Travel specialist program to $59 from Aug. 1 to 31. Other specialist programs will be discounted on a rotating basis. Incorrect information appeared in the Aug. 23 Home-based Agent E-letter.


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