Travel Weeklys Home-based Agent E-letter: March 21, 2005

EUROPEAN TRAVEL is definitely on the upswing, thanks to the weak dollar, said Marvin Davis, CEO of Cruise Planners, the franchise company that counts many at-home retailers among its members. Davis said the Europe cruise segment is robust because people can tour Europe by ship much more cheaply than they can on land. A two-week tour on land costs twice as much as a cruise to the same European destinations, according to Davis. He said Cruise Planner franchisees are not reporting their clients have concerns about security in Europe. Davis added that the top destinations for spring and summer cruising are Alaska, the Mexican Riviera and Bermuda.

VACATION.COM added a preferred supplier, Continental Airlines Vacations. Member agents can book Continental Airlines Vacations packages via AgentNet VAX. Continental Airlines Vacations offers land/air packages to many destinations, including Arizona, Bermuda, California, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Latin America, Mexico, New Orleans and New York. Specialty packages include dive packages, Hong Kong, Japan, summer mountain and ski vacations.

EDUCATION UPDATE: The Austrian Tourist Office is offering its destination specialist program for travel agents online as part of a new Internet retailer resource center that also offers marketing and sales tools. In addition to the specialist program, new features on the Web site, at www.austriaexpertprogram.com, include an Agent Toolkit section, which features customizable marketing flyers, destination logos, specialist award promotions, e-postcards and images, as well as Intelliguide destination reports from Northstar Travel Media. (Northstar Travel Media is the parent company of Travel Weekly.)

HOST AGENCY SPOTLIGHT
Salentine Travel, a Virtuoso Agency

Address: 11032 N Pt Washington Rd, Milwaukee
Phone: (262) 241-8747
Web sites:www.salentinetravel.com, www.salentinevacations.com
Years in business: 25
Annual sales: $10 million
Number of independent contractors: 10
Cost to join: None
Monthly fees: None
Industry affiliations: Virtuoso
Commission split: Based on volume

FAM OF THE WEEK
Ireland

Departures: Daily from Boston or New York to Dublin via Aer Lingus.
Length: Six nights.
Sponsor: Lynott Tours, Garden City, N.Y.
Cost: $599 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, accommodations, use of a standard rental car with unlimited mileage for six days, some meals, sightseeing, baggage handling, service charges and taxes.
Trip: Program is a self-guided tour featuring accommodations in a choice of bed-and-breakfasts and a five-star castle (Ashford Castle or Dromoland Castle).
Noteworthy: Air from Chicago or Los Angeles can be arranged. Companions are eligible. Payment must be made by agency check. Maximum of four agents per agency. Agents who complete one self-guided fam with Lynott are eligible for increased commissions in 2005.
Contact: (800) 221-2474; fax: (561) 248-3496; e-mail: [email protected]; Web: www.lynotttours.com/i-fam.htm.

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