Travel exec willing to open home to Katrina victims

Several travel companies have come forward and made donations to victims of Hurricane Katrina or coordinated (or matched) employee contributions for refugee relief.

TC knows of one executive, the CEO of a large supplier, who is willing to make his home -- or a portion of it -- available to refugees.


He figures he can take in two families, and is quietly asking around to other CEOs to see if it makes sense to expand the idea into an industry initiative.

Back in January, a Cendant official conceded that Americas Consumer Travel, the name for the unit that holds its consumer Web sites, was a generic placeholder. TC wondered at the time if it would be rechristened with one of its leading site names.

Dont think Orbitz as the brand, the executive said. Think Cendant.

Well, now that official is gone, and a new official was asked if Orbitz might appear in the name for the group.

Youre onto something, the executive said with all but a wink. It would make sense. Its got good brand recognition in Europe.

Thanks to Sandals new 360-room resort in the village of Whitehouse on Jamaicas undeveloped south coast, local employment levels are way up, TC hears.

The resort employs more than 600 staff, many of whom were tapped right from Whitehouse and the immediate area. It takes a village ... to run a resort.

Watch for Abercrombie & Kent to announce the opening of a new destination management office in Buenos Aires, the companys fourth in South America.

With New Orleans no longer a viable venue, TC hears that convention planners are desperate to rebook their upcoming groups in New York as their first choice for an alternate site. The only problem is that theres no room. Apparently, New Yorks major meeting and convention venues already are spoken for throughout the fall and winter -- the most popular time to hold big conventions.

Dont expect the K-word to appear again anytime soon on the list of storm names, TC hears. The National Weather Service often drops a name from its list if a storm is so deadly or so costly that future use would be inappropriate.

Four names were dropped last year. Remember Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne? How about Andrew (1992), Hugo (1989), Luis and Marilyn (both in 1995)?

There are six lists of names for tropical storms -- which rotate year by year. If Katrina is not retired (but it likely will be) the name would reappear in 2011.

The K-word for 2006 is Kirk.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI