Travel Weeklys Home-based Agent E-letter: Oct. 18, 2004

CRUISE AGENT ONLY, the Florida-based organization that provides training to retailers in the U.S. and Canada, launched its Travel Sales Certification (TSC) program. The program will be incorporated into the groups Cruise University, said Charlie Dubinsky, president of Cruise Agent Only. He said retailers attending the Jan. 15 Cruise University, to be held aboard NCLs Norwegian Sun, will be the first class to attend the certification program. An added benefit of the TSC, Dubinsky said, is that it usually includes CLIA seminars and attendees can earn up to 70 points toward CLIA certification. Attendees who are CTAs and CTCs can earn credit toward the Travel Institutes continuing education program, he said.

THE TSC is structured to help travel agents close more sales in a competitive market, Dubinsky said. The certification program will offer agents who attend the January event an opportunity to continue their education on subsequent Cruise University programs, with multiple levels of achievement. According to the guidelines, Dubinsky said, agents must attend all classes onboard and pass a proficiency test in order to advance to the next level. Cruise University is held aboard various cruise lines and ships throughout the year. Agents can learn more by calling Cruise Agent Only at (954) 491-2269 or by visiting www.cruiseagentonly.com.

CLIA NAMED 25 retailers to its newly formed agent advisory board. More than 30% of the members are home-based travel sellers. You folks are the lifeblood of this organization and I think you need direct access to the leadership of CLIA, said the organizations CEO Terry Dale, as he introduced the advisory board members during a conference call with retailers last week. Dale said he hoped the advisory board would act as a think tank and a sounding board for CLIA policies and plans. He said the organization had more than 200 applications from agents seeking to join the board. Those selected will serve a two-year term.

IN OTHER CRUISE industry news, CruiseOne, the cruise-only franchiser, said it reached a milestone in August by signing up 15 new franchises, bringing the total number of members to 454. Information about the company, including its new CD, The CruiseOne Difference, is available by calling (800) 892-3928. Its Web site is www.cruiseonefranchise.com.

DATEBOOK: The French Government Tourist Office (FGTO) is hosting a Hispanic series of travel agent seminars. The free events, to be held in Miami and San Juan, will consist of a trade show featuring 10 French suppliers and U.S.-based tour operators, regional presentations, information on the FGTOs France Certification destination-specialist program, cocktails and prize drawings. Presentations will be made in both English and Spanish. The Miami seminar will be held Oct. 26, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Sofitel Miami hotel, while the San Juan event is scheduled for the same hours on Oct. 27 at the Wyndham Old San Juan hotel. To register call (212) 838-7800, Ext. 208 or e-mail [email protected].

FAM OF THE WEEK
Costa Rica

Departures: Jan. 21 to 28 on a daily basis from New York to Liberia via Delta.
Length: Seven nights.
Sponsor: Reko Tours, Astoria, N.Y.
Cost: $849 per person, double. Includes roundtrip air, all-inclusive accommodations at the Occidental Allegro Papagayo (or similar hotel) and transfers.
Noteworthy: The single supplement is $145 and the companion rate is $75 extra. Rates from the West Coast are $95 additional.
Contact: (800) 251-0230 or (718) 721-0003; fax: (718) 721-5643; e-mail: [email protected].

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