CAPE CANAVERAL -- Links to as many as 100 U.S. travel agents who
agree to book Florida Space Coast vacations are envisioned by April
1 for the Brevard County Tourist Development Council (TDC) Web
site, according to Rob Varley, director. The site can be found at
The Space Coast encompasses major attractions such as the
Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island National Seashore, the
Astronauts' Hall of Fame and the Florida Marlins' baseball spring
Its communities -- many with resort hotels -- include Cape
Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach,
Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Rockledge, Satellite Beach and
Titusville. In addition, Melbourne Airport and the Port Canaveral
cruise port are located in Brevard County.
Although some details are yet to be settled concerning the agent
link program, Varley said he is optimistic on the value of agents,
especially those who are involved with the Internet.
Under preliminary plans, participating agents across the U.S.
would agree to become "marketing partners" for the destination,
They would display Space Coast posters and brochures in their
agencies and agree to educate themselves (these details are yet to
be worked out) on the destination.
"When a consumer comes to our site, we are going to offer him or
her access to travel agents [located] near them for when they are
ready to book their Space Coast vacation. If they want to book
direct, they can," Varley said.
He said there would be no exclusive referral territories. Thus,
referrals to more than one agent in a metropolitan area might
The Web site had about 1 million hits during 1999, Varley
Many prospects, Varley said he believed, although interested in
the Space Coast, are not willing to do all of the work to book air
arrangements at a suitable fare as well as hotels, car rentals and
other components such as a cruise out of Port Canaveral.
In the council's recent newsletter, Varley said: "I think we can
expect the travel agent to continue to play a key role in booking
vacations. It's not only an Internet issue; it's a time factor.
"I don't have the time to search for the best airline ticket
price, accommodations and attraction tickets on the Internet. It is
easier and worth a service fee to just call a travel agent.
"Let [consumers] try to get all that stuff on the Internet
before [getting kicked] off line!" he said.
Agents interested in the program can contact Varley.
Brevard County Tourist Development Council
Phone: (800) 93-OCEAN