Travel Weeklys Home-based Agent E-letter: Oct. 11, 2004

OCEANIA CRUISES rolled out its Web-based booking engine. James Rodriguez, director of Internet and database marketing for the line, said the system enables agents to embed the engine in their own Web sites, giving consumers real-time availability and the ability to book Oceania Cruises. The system also produces a detailed cruise invoice and itinerary. Shore excursion packages and pre- and post-cruise stays can be booked through the system, Rodriguez said. Oceania Cruises operates three ships, each accommodating 684 guests: the Regatta, the Insignia and the Nautica. More details are online at www.oceaniacruises.com.

THE NETWORK of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel (NEST) is growing at a good clip, with 140 members now onboard with the Oyster Bay, N.Y. group, said senior vp Stuart Cohen. NEST is a marketing organization for agencies that are home-based, independently owned and operated and registered to book directly with suppliers. Cohen said members also must be full-time travel sellers with gross annual sales of at least $500,000. The criteria, he said, enables just one in 25 applicants to gain membership. When the organization launched last March, Cohen said he hoped to have 200 members by the end of this year.

COHEN SAID that the networks members-only incentive plan launched last summer, called NESTRewards, has been well received by the groups agents, with 80% enrolling. Under the plan, cash rewards are applied to a no-fee MasterCard debit card each time agents book participating preferred suppliers. Members can use the debit cards anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Additionally, Cohen said three regional meetings are planned for NEST members in 2005: one in Las Vegas; one in the New York area, and one on the West Coast. Agents can learn more about the network at www.jointhenest.com.

HOST AGENCY SPOTLIGHT
Travel Management Consultants, Inc.
Address: 199 S. Addison Road/Suite 107C, Woodale, Ill 60191
Phone: (630) 238-2250
In business since: 1993
Web address:www.travelmanage.com
Annual sales: $3.5 Million
Cost to join: $195; monthly fee of $50.
Industry Affiliations: OSSN, NACTA
Commission split to agents: 70%

DATEBOOK: Trafalgar Tours will be the featured subject at OSSNs South New Jersey Chapter meeting Oct. 25. Trafalgar rep Anna Lorang will speak at the event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Bennigans Restaurant, Route 73 South, Mount Laurel, N.J. A $12 admission includes dinner and a beverage. RSVP to [email protected].

FAM OF THE WEEK
Caribbean

Dates valid: Through Dec. 23 for overnight stays.
Sponsor: Hyatt Resorts Caribbean.
Cost: From $99 at the Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort and Country Club in Puerto Rico and the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman Resort in the Cayman Islands, from $108 at the Hyatt Key West Resort & Marina in Florida and from $120 at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino.
Contact: (800) 55-HYATT.

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