MAJORITY of Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN) members,
85%, said sales were up last year compared with 2003, according to
an end-of-year survey. And 73% report they have established a niche
market for their businesses. The OSSN routinely conducts research
surveys of its members to gauge a variety of trends. For example,
60% said they are not affiliated with a host agency, while 40% are.
That contrasts with a recent survey of members of the National
Association of Commissioned Travel Agents, which found the opposite
-- 60% are working through a host. Gary Fee, president of OSSN,
said the decision to work without a host is a growing trend, in any
OTHER tidbits of information from the OSSN surveys:
Seventy-one percent said they do not book through a GDS. And 51% do
not have any industry designation, such as certified travel agent
or certified cruise counselor. Most home-based agents, 36%,
reported they have converted a bedroom into an office. Other
choices in this category included living room, den and garage. And
while more OSSN agents are working without a host, most of them,
44%, are affiliated with a consortium. Retailers can learn more
about OSSN by visiting its Web site at www.ossn.com.
MEANWHILE, whats the travel outlook for
the early part of this year? According to the Travel Industry
Association, Americans will take a record number of trips this
spring, even though the overall increase in trips is expected to be
only slightly higher than that of spring 2004. TIA is estimating
Americans will take 281 million trips of 50 miles or more one-way
from home during March, April and May. It represents a 1.2%
increase from last spring.
POCKET: Celtic Tours is offering up to 17% commission on
land tours, free spots on the trips and a cash booking bonus for
groups booked on scheduled coach tours for 2005. Groups of 16 to 19
passengers earn agents 12% pay; 20 to 35 passengers, 15%; and 36
passengers or more, 17%. The commissions, plus other incentives,
apply to all of Celtics scheduled Ireland coach tour departures of
six nights or more for travel April to October. Celtic pays 5% on
air from published gateways. Agents can call (800) 833-4373 or
visit www.celtictours.com for more details or to
FAM OF THE
Departure: April 16 from Amsterdam to Strasbourg, France,
Length: Six nights aboard the Beethoven.
Sponsor: Europeanbarging, Houston.
Cost: $850 per person, double. Includes all
Trip: Sails from Amsterdam and visits Nimegen,
Holland; Cologne, Konigswinter, Krefeld, Mannheim and Rudesheim,
Germany; ends in Strasbourg.
Noteworthy: Sightseeing is additional and
estimated at about $67 per person. The companion rate is $50
Contact: (888) 869-7907; e-mail: [email protected].