Gatorland celebrates, agents benefit

ORLANDO -- Gatorland, which bills itself as the "Alligator Capital of the World," celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, adding a travel agent incentive for referrals.

The Alligator Breeding Marsh at Gatorland is home to more than 100 of the reptiles. The theme park created coupons redeemable for 20% off regular admissions.

Valid for one year, the coupons allow up to six people in one party to receive the 20% discount. Travel agents are asked to stamp or write their agency and name on the back of each coupon. When coupons are redeemed, a commission of $1.50 per coupon is returned to the agent.

The spokeswoman said commissions are paid by the 15th of each month. A referral registration form needs to be completed in order to receive the rebate commissions. Tickets for Gatorland are $16.93 plus tax for visitors ages 13 and older, and $7.48 plus tax for children ages 3 to 12.

Group rates are available with discounts of up to 50%, the spokeswoman said. Gatorland, which draws 500,000 visitors per year, changed its marketing to focus more on the U. S., according to the spokeswoman.

"We're going to be emphasizing ecotourism more, and we'll be trying to increase our travel agent business," she said.

A recently introduced combination ticket includes entry into Gatorland and a Boggy Creek Airboat Ride in nearby Kissimmee. The combination ticket costs $28 for guests ages 13 and older, and $14.75 for children ages 3 to 12.

The ticket includes a visit to the theme park and a half-hour airboat ride in a scenic waterway, where visitors can see cypress trees, eagles, osprey, alligators and other wildlife.

One of the new shows at the park is the Jumparoo Debut, which features alligators leaping out of the water in a feeding frenzy to snatch their lunch: a raw chicken hovering just a few feet above the water.

Gatorland plans more packages and alliances later this year. Gatorland coupon information Phone: (800) 393-JAWS, Ext. 10

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