Travel Weeklys Home-based Agent E-letter: Jan. 10, 2005

TRAVEL COMPANIES are joining the effort to bring relief to victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami disaster in south Asia and Africa. International Vacations, for example, is collecting money for victims in Sri Lanka. Checks can be made payable to: Childrens Heart Project. The address is Disaster Relief Fund, Box 6177, Glendale, Ariz. 85312.

DELTA said members of its frequent-flyer program can donate miles to help relief workers get to the affected areas via the SkyWish program by sending the miles to CARE, Unicef or the American Red Cross. To get the program kicked off, Delta donated 1 million miles, which will be evenly divided among the three charities. Donations can be made by e-mail: [email protected].

MEANWHILE, HOLLAND AMERICA LINE made a corporate donation to the Indonesian Red Cross and established an emergency response center in its Indonesia office for the lines crew to get messages and news from friends and family in the areas affected by the tsunami. HAL also said it would send contributions from passengers and employees to the Indonesian Red Cross.

CATCHING UP WITH ... Chris McGill. Along with phone, fax, copier and high-speed Internet access, a home-based agent needs something else to be successful: a very comfortable chair. Thats the advice from McGill, an at-home retailer who also is director of the Outside Sales Support Networks Walnut Creek (Calif.) chapter. But selling travel isnt all this retailer does. McGill, whos been an agent for 25 years -- the last five as home-based -- teaches at Los Medanos College, where she created a home-based travel agent program. These classes take students through the process of setting up and establishing their home-based business, working with vendors, marketing and laws, she said.

VACATION.COM extended the hours of its CruiseCentre to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday until March 31. The new hours are especially important between January and March to accommodate the increased business that results from Wave season, said Ken Svejkovsky, director of product development and merchant management.

Feb. 3 from London to Valletta via Air Malta.
Length: Five nights.
Sponsor: Legend Tours, San Diego.
Cost: $425 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air from London; hotel; breakfast and dinner daily; sightseeing; taxes; and transfers.
Trip: Visits Rabat and Valletta. Also includes a Gozo Island excursion.
Noteworthy: The companion rate is $498.
Contact: (800) 333-6114; e-mail: [email protected].


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