Dutch Caribbean: Training Seminars, Fams Boost Agent Know-how

Agent education is the goal of separate programs and discounts being offered by or on Aruba, St. Maarten and Saba/St. Eustatius. For contact information, see article below.

The Aruba Tourism Authority is preparing to launch its ACE (Aruba Certified Experts) program, with the first seminar slated for this month. Although specific details were still on the drawing board at press time, the basic program will consist of three seminars, each three-and-one-half hours long, designed to train agents on selling Aruba.

Seminars initially will be offered in-agency. Eventually they may be offered on-line, possibly as a home-study course. An ACE certification component also may be added to fam trips operated by the tourism authority, according to a spokeswoman.

The $75 charge includes certification; a sales kit containing collateral, a video and related materials; a welcome gift, and a VIP fam trip certificate to be redeemed for a fam trip with free air, accommodations, meals and selected activities. Also included are an agent-referral program to consumers, targeted by zip code; reduced hotel rates; marketing support, such as advertising shells and document stuffers; communications via the authority's Web site (see below).

Aruba also plans to offer five to 10 VIP ACE fam trips this year. Wholesaler and charter operator fams will cost $60 plus air for a three-night stay. The wholesaler price covers all costs; the charter operator costs include room rates.

Agents who plan to visit St. Maarten are offered an island tour, discounts on air or ferry travel and hotel stays if they contact through their respective tourist offices in advance. According to a spokeswoman for the Saba and St. Eustatius tourist offices, Windward Island Airways offers a 75% discount. Hotels and ferry operators cut prices by 50%.

Dutch Caribbean: Destination Information

Agents selling the Dutch Caribbean can contact the following island tourist boards for information, advice and, in most cases, promotional materials.

Aruba

The Aruba Tourism Authority has five offices in North America.
Atlanta: 199 14th St. N.E., Suite 2008, Atlanta 33039-3688; (404) 892-7822

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: 1 Financial Plaza, Suite 136, Fort Lauderdale 33394;
(954) 767-6477

Houston: 12707 North Freeway, Suite 138, Houston 77060-1234; (713) 872-7822

Toronto: 86 Bloor St. W., Suite 204, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1M5; (416) 975-1950

Weehawken, N.J.: 1000 Harbor Blvd., Ground Level, Weehawken 07087; (201) 330-0800

U.S. toll-free, (800) TO-ARUBA; in Canada, (800) 268-3042; www.interknowledge.com/aruba

Bonaire

Tourism Corporation Bonaire is represented in the U.S. by Adams Unlimited, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 900, New York 10020; (800) U-Bonair; fax (212) 956-5913; www.bonaire.org

Curacao

Curacao Tourist Board, 475 Park Ave. S., Suite 2000, New York 10016; (800) 270-3350; fax (212) 683-9337; www.interknowledge.com/curacao; e-mail [email protected]

Saba

Saba Tourist Office, Box 6233, Boca Raton, Fla. 33427; (561) 394-8580; (800) 722-2394; fax (561) 488-4294; www.turq.com/saba; e-mail [email protected]

St. Eustatius

St. Eustatius Tourist Office, Box 6233, Boca Raton, Fla. 33427; (561) 394-8580; (800) 722-2394; fax (561) 488-4294; www.turq.com/statia; e-mail [email protected]

St. Maarten

St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, 675 Third Ave., Suite 1806, New York 10017; (212) 953-2084; fax (212) 953-2145, (800) ST-MAARTEN; www.st-maarten.com

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