NOVATO, Calif. -- Travel agency owners leaving the industry can
receive income from their client lists through a program offered by
Golden Bear Travel, a cruise wholesaler subsidiary of American
The firm's Golden Parachute Retirement program is available to
former agency owners who turn over their client lists to Golden
It is the second time that Golden Bear has offered the program.
The first time, about eight years ago, three or four travel
agency owners who were leaving the industry provided their client
lists to Golden Bear, said John Bell, company president.
Golden Bear collected some 4,000 to 5,000 names.
"It worked out very well. In fact, we're still paying those
owners for the business," said Bell, in a telephone interview from
Camp Okizu, the summer camp for cancer-stricken children that he
operates in Oroville, Calif.
"We decided to offer this again because we understand many
agencies are closing," he said.
To participate, retiring agency owners notify their clients
about enrollment in the Mariner Club, which offers discount cruise
fares and hosted sailings with special events, parties and
The clients can opt out of enrollment in Mariner Club. If they
don't opt out, they begin receiving Mariner Club direct mail
Travel agents who provide client lists receive 30% of Golden
Bear's cruise commissions of their former clients who book directly
with Golden Bear for the next five years.
"The clients' names are coded in our computer system and every
time they book, the former agents receive a monthly check when
their people have sailed," said Bell.
"Agents can feel good knowing that their cruise clients will
continue to receive excellent service from a large, established
agency, while the agent receives retirement income," said Bell.
For information, contact the company at (800) 551-1000, Ext.
Watch for industry reaction in an upcoming issue of Travel