ASTA IS HOPING to attract at-home agents to its
World Travel Congress in Hong Kong, with several events planned for
the home-based/independent agent. The congress, being held Sept. 28
to Oct. 3 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, will
feature seminars such as "Being a Home-Based Travel Professional --
Issues, Answers and Opportunities," "How to Position Your Web
Site," "Marketing on a Shoestring Budget" and "Seven Steps to
Closing a Sale." Joannie Ogg, the president of Nacta who is
well-known among the at-home community, will lead some of the
ASTA TWO YEARS AGO created a membership for
at-homes and independents, called the Travel Professional category.
Liz Culkin, ASTA's vp-meetings, conventions and trade shows, told
TravelWeekly.com that 2,100 home-based agents have joined ASTA.
"The category is growing rapidly, as many brick-and-mortar members
are taking their business home," she said. The registration cost
for the Hong Kong congress is $299; non-members add $75. ASTA said
14 airlines are offering special fares to Hong Kong, including
Continental and United. Hotel reservations can be made through
ASTA's hotel booking system. For more details on the program,
including industry speakers and post-congress fam trips, visit www.astanet.com.
THE TRAVEL INSTITUTE rolled out its Accessible
Travel Lifestyle Specialist course, the second in a series of nine
new courses planned for this year. The curriculum, which was
written in collaboration with Roberta Schwartz, director of
education for the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality,
covers the size and scope of the market, the proper etiquette for
serving travelers with disabilities, and what to look for in
assessing various modes of transportation, lodging, destinations
TWO LEVELS of Lifestyle Specialist designations
are offered for each curriculum segment, the institute said. By
passing a standardized test, travel professionals will earn a
specialist designation for that niche. Those specialists then have
an opportunity to become certified specialists by demonstrating
advanced knowledge through relevant business experience in that
segment. This two-level structure applies to each of the nine
courses being launched this year. The specialist program for gay
travel was launched a few weeks ago. Additional specialist programs
still to be introduced include golf, honeymoons and spas.
Enrollment information, costs and other details are on line at www.thetravelinstitute.com.
HOST AGENCY SPOTLIGHT
All About Travel
1901 Northwest Highway, Suite 104
Garland, Texas 75041
Phone: (888) 278-1441
In business since: 1978
Web site: www.ictravelhost.com and
Annual sales: $10 million
Cost to join: $150
Monthly fee: $27
Industry affiliations: Carlson Wagonlit Travel,
CLIA, OSSN, Iatan, ARC, Passport Online.
Commission split: 80% to agent
DATEBOOK: Apple Vacations will be the topic at
South New Jersey OSSN's meeting on July 26 at 6:30 p.m. The event
-- being held at Bennigan's Restaurant, Route 73, South Marlton --
will feature Apple rep Kevin Martin. Cost to members is $12,
including dinner, beverage, tax and tip. Non-members pay $13. RSVP
to the director, Ruth Vitale, at (856) 461-4283.
FAM OF THE WEEK
Departures: Sept. 2 or 3 and Nov. 24 from New York to
Santo Domingo via Delta.
Length: Five nights.
Sponsor: Reko Tours, Astoria, N.Y.
Cost: $599 per person, double. Includes roundtrip
air, all-inclusive accommodations and transfers.
Trip: Accommodations are at Santana Beach Hotel at
Noteworthy: The companion rate is $75 additional;
rates for children up to age 16 are $529. The single supplement is
$145. There is a $100 surcharge for the Nov. 24 departure.
Contact: (800) 251-0230; e-mail: [email protected].