Travel Weeklys Home-based Agent E-letter: March 7, 2005

HOST AGENCIES, it seems, do not appeal to all home-based retailers. Take Laura Boehm, who operates Cruise and Tour Specials, in Venice, Fla. I realized that selling travel is something I can do on my own, rather than having somebody looking over my [shoulder] at all times and feeling pressure to produce sales. I am a much more stress-free person, she said.

 

BOEHM, now in her second year as a true independent, has been an agent for seven years. She is affiliated with CLIA and Vacation.com, and books her customers travel either online or by phone. I dont feel the need to be with a host agency. I want to keep my commissions and not share them with someone else, she said. Signing up with a host, she added, would be giving up the independence that I have worked so hard at achieving. Boehm is among an increasing number of at-homes confident enough to go it alone; a recent survey by the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents found that more than 60% of member agents are affiliated with a host, but thats down from nearly 75% two years ago.

CONTIKI HOLIDAYS rolled out an agent Web site at http://agent.contiki.com. The Anaheim, Calif., company offers tours, resorts, and cruises for 18- to 35-year-olds. The site enables agents to book online, maintain records, and save itineraries. Additionally, agents can add pages to a wish list and create custom brochures that can be e-mailed to clients. To access the site, agents should log on to create an account using a valid IATAN number, e-mail address and password.

DATEBOOK: Database management will be the topic of discussion when the Fort Worth Chapter of the Outside Sales Support Network meets on March 22, 6 p.m. at the HEB Central Market community room, Fort Worth. A representative from Trams will be present. Get more information by e-mailing [email protected].

FAM OF THE WEEK

Anguilla

Dates valid: Through Dec. 21 for overnight stays.

Sponsor: Arawak Beach Inn, Island Harbour Beach, Anguilla.

Cost: Through April 2, rates start at $97.50 per night, 50% off rack. From April 3 through Dec. 21, discounted rates start at $80 per night. Rates are based on availability and blackout dates apply.

Contact: (877) 4-ARAWAK or e-mail: [email protected].

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