3-Day Agent Programs Planned for Carnival’s Home Ports
Carnival launched the first From Your Home to Our Home Port training recently in Orlando. The three-day event featured sessions on attracting first-time cruisers; tips on hosting cruise nights; visits to the Carnival Dream and Carnival Sensation in nearby Port Canaveral, as well as tours to local attractions. Additional From Your Home to Our Home Port events will take place in Baltimore, July 13-15; New Orleans, July 27-29, and Galveston, Sept. 28-30.
The program builds upon a Carnival’s From Your Home to Ours program introduced in 2011. Both programs were designed for home-based agents but are available to all travel agents. Participants earn points in Carnival’s Travel Agent Rewards Program.
“After the success of last year’s From Your Home to Ours program, we wanted to make this program more accessible for our partners across the country and, at the same time, offer an opportunity for agents to become more familiar with our home ports,” said Joni Rein, vice president of worldwide sales for Carnival. Carnival plans to offer training sessions in more home ports in 2013. For information, visit GoCCL.com or contact Carnival’s Trade Engagement team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 327-7276.
New Certification for Business Travel Managers
The Global Business Travel Association launched the first-ever certification for business travel managers and other professionals. The Global Travel Professional, or GTP, certification is offered through the GBTA Academy. The goal, said GBTA executive director and COO Mike McCormick, is to raise industry standards, enhance work performance and recognize individuals who demonstrate core competencies essential to business travel management
Travel Impressions Launches Social U
Travel Impressions has launched a series of free social media webinars in a new program called Social U. by Travel Impressions. The webinars are geared to agents' skill level – beginner, intermediate and advanced. A Social U. webinar, 42 Ways to Save Time Money and Increase Sales, is scheduled for June 28.
The webinars, offered quarterly, provide 60 tips in 60 minutes on how to use various social media tools and tactics to market your agency's services and expertise, said Susan Black, Travel Impressions’ executive vice president and social media expert. The first Social U presented in April attracted 2,300 agents. That webinar, as will be subsequent sessions, are also available on demand under the Social U. tab on Travel Impressions' Facebook page.
CIE Tours Unveils Certification Program
CIE Tours, which specializes in the U.K. and Ireland, has a new agent resource center and education program designed to help travel sellers increase sales with in-depth knowledge of the company’s products. Participants can earn certification as CIE Tours’ Destination Experts, gaining access to fam trips, special offers and discounts, invitations to special events and opportunities to take part in surveys to win Waterford Crystal items. Visit CIE Tours' website for information.
ASTA Members Gain Access to Discount Med Program
ASTA Marketing Services, Inc. (AMSI) is offering RxSavingsPlus, a prescription drug discount program for ASTA members who are without health insurance or whose medications are not covered under their current insurance plan.
The program provides the following benefits:
• Average savings of 22% on retail prescriptions – and up to 50% on select generic medications – when participants order through the CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy. Ninety-nine percent of all commonly prescribed brand-name medications are included.
• Participants save up to 10% at CVS MinuteClinics on regularly priced health services and screenings not covered by their insurance.
More than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide, such as CVS pharmacies, Target, Rite Aide, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, participate. Savings are available to anyone regardless of age, income, or insurance coverage.
“There is no paperwork or claim form to fill out, nor is there a waiting period,” said Joann L. Thompson, AMSI co-chair and owner of Worldwide Travel Specialists in Aurora, Colo. “You just present your card to your pharmacist when you purchase a prescription not covered by insurance and pay the pharmacy.”
TravelProfessionalCommunity.com Tops 10,000 Daily Users
The online forum TravelProfessionalCommunity.com recently achieved a milestone of more than 10,000 active daily users. Launched by industry veterans Joanie Ogg and Tom Ogg less than four years ago, the community has evolved from a home-based travel agent network with a few hundred members to an active community of travel professionals sharing ideas, sales techniques, opinions on suppliers and business advice. Topics discussed on the social community site range from firing clients to getting ARC certification to requesting hotel recommendations to simply needing to vent.
FLA Rental Car Firm Starts Agent Partner Program
Royal Rent-A-Car, an independently owned car rental company in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, recently launched a booking engine that enables travel agents to create customizable car rental packages and earn higher commission rates. Under the new Travel Agent Partner Program, agents will be compensated for time and mileage, as well as rental options, and receive a branded interface. Travel agents can register for free by providing basic information including their agency name, a username and password.
Nick Verrastro and Fred Gebhart contributed to this report.