Travel Weeklys Home-based Agent E-letter: Dec. 13, 2004

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Vacation.com rolled out a holiday season incentive to join its network, offering a $150 discount (43%) off its annual membership dues. Dick Knodt, president and CEO, said the offer is valid through Dec. 31 and will be applied to membership dues through June 30, 2005, at which time the agency will be expected to pay the regular membership amount of $350.

JOHN LOVELL, Vacation.coms vice president of sales, cited four reasons for joining: preferred supplier relationships, the newly expanded CruiseCentre, technology platforms and the consortiums Engagement direct-mail marketing program. Vacation.com has 7,000 agency members, many of them home-based. More information is on line at www.joinvacation.com.

MATCH-MAKING: The Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associate Division launched a referral program, available free to its associates, to help match them up with suitable independent contractors. Carlson said it will actively solicit independent contractors to enroll. Qualifying agents contact information will be passed on to the nearest Carlson associate that signs on as a participant. Beyond that, it will be up to the host and contractor to negotiate terms. Carlson previewed the program during the associates national meeting in Houston last month.

A MILESTONE: The Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel (NEST) has grown to 150 member agencies, putting it well on its way to ruling the roost among the community of top home-based travel agencies, said Stuart Cohen, senior vice president of the national marketing organization he created six months ago.

IN YOUR POCKET: Apple Vacations said it will pay travel agents a 5% bonus on all new charter air/hotel package bookings made through Dec. 31 for departures April 1 and after. The bonus is in addition to the agents current commission level and will be automatically added to the commission check after the client travels. For more information, call Apple Vacations reservations at 800-365-2775 or book on line at myappleonline.com.

DATEBOOK: The Travel Adventure Expo & Conference is set for Jan. 21 to 23 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. A trade show, supplier seminars, networking sessions and marketing forums are on the agenda. Details are on the Web at www.traveladventurebiz.com.

FAM OF THE WEEK
Italy
Departures:
Every Saturday for the remainder of the year from Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco to Rome via Air France.
Length: Seven nights.
Sponsor: Tours Specialists, Palm Harbor, Fla.
Cost: $1,800 per person, double, from New York or $1,900 from California. Includes roundtrip air, hotel, daily breakfasts, transfers and sightseeing.
Trip: Visits Florence, Rome and Venice.
Noteworthy: Companion rates are $100 additional. The single supplement is $400.
Contact: (800) 223-7552; fax: (727) 784-7520; e-mail: [email protected].

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