ASTA Debuts Sales & Marketing Course
by Dori Saltzman /


New ASTA Course Is Latest in Business Executive Series
ASTA has launched a multimedia sales and marketing course for travel sellers and agency owners. Presented by Nolan Burris, the course is divided into individual modules. Topics include: marketing 101, traditional marketing, electronic marketing, marketing vs. sales, the sales process, consultative sales and selling your value. Materials are in a variety of formats, including: webcasts; a PDF course book; do-it-yourself marketing plan and budget spreadsheets, and sample sales and marketing materials. The course is the third in the ASTA Business Executive Series and is available to ASTA members at no charge.

Travel Institute Video Helps With New Facebook Features
To help agents deal with one of the latest changes on Facebook, the Travel Institute has created the video tutorial “How to Minimize the New Facebook Ticker.” The video is the first in a series that will be posted through The Travel Institute’s Facebook page. The first video, designed by Chelle Honiker-Yarbrough, CTC, the Institute’s director of technology and marketing, offers tips on how to make Facebook’s new ticker feature “not so in your face,” said Honiker-Yarbrough, who noted that it is impossible to get rid of the ticker feature completely. The Institute also offers courses on how to effectively use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Travcoa Plans Educational Webinars for Oct. and Nov.
Travcoa has scheduled a series of educational webinars for agents about its upscale tours to Asia, Europe and culinary destinations and Travcoa’s typical guests. On Oct. 19, Richard Genovese will discuss Travcoa’s 2012 offerings in Asia, India and the South Pacific. Genovese, vice president of marketing, also will talk about the profile of the Travcoa traveler. On Nov. 2, vice president of sales Perry Lungmus will explore opportunities in food and wine travel, including the company’s all-inclusive Dine-Around Plan. Finally, on Nov. 16, Genovese will present a comprehensive overview of Travcoa’s new Europe offerings. Each webinar is comprised of a 45-minute presentation, followed by Q&A. All three webinars are scheduled for 2 p.m., Eastern Time.


Insight Offers Customizable Videos, Starring Your Clients
Insight Vacations launched a customizable video promoting its tours for travel agents to email to clients. The best part – agents can adapt each video for a particular client so the video inserts the client’s name throughout the footage, creating a personal video. The e-marketing tool is complimentary to all agents, who can also insert their own contact info, creating a personalized call to action. The video can be found on Insight’s agent portal.  LINK??

Silversea Launches Co-Branded Website Program
Silversea Cruises rolled out an online program that lets U.S. and Canadian travel agents create their own Silversea co-branded website. The website provides in-depth Silversea information while featuring the travel agency’s branding, logo, contact information and “about us” page. When visitors fill out contact forms on the site, the emails are sent to the agency alone – Silversea does not receive any customer contact data. To sign up, visit the travel agent section of Silversea’s website.

Funjet Enhances Online Agent Resource Center
Funjet Vacations’ online travel agent resource center now has more content and a more user-friendly design. upgrades include the addition of a quick-link navigation menu that allows agents to easily find the info they’re looking for in the following areas: promotions, incentives, programs, marketing tools, and training. Agents also can view top deals by destination, and new marketing tools have been added. Also, all of Funjet’s resources for agents, including marketing tools, are now found in its upgraded resource center.

New Web Solution From Island Routes Protects Commissions
Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours, a supplier of independent shore excursions in the Caribbean, has launched a co-branded website solution that allows agents to earn commission on every pre-booking. Travel sellers who sign up are sent a co-branded weblink to put on the agency’s website. When clients click through the weblink to Island Routes Tours and pre-book an excursion, agents receive commission, provided the booking is made within 90 days of that first visit. To sign up, email

VAX Revamps Booking Platform to Support Agent Productivity
VAX VacationAccess has revamped its booking platform with elements designed to increase agent productivity, support increased content and improve the user experience. Among the changes: improved navigation, including dropdown menus for quicker access to popular pages; an AgentResources tab, with information about new suppliers, new niche showcases and updated destination content, and a new Romance Showcase. Also new is a sales and marketing tab that gives agents access to selling tools like brochures, images, and marketing templates. The Virtual University now features a live training calendar. Enhancements to the check-out page make it easier to input frequent flyer information and clients’ mobile phone numbers.


CLIA Names Blomquist Director of Training
Cruise Lines International Association named Bernie Blomquist director of training. In his new role, Blomquist will be responsible for CLIA’s multifaceted educational program, including classroom, online and video training; educational materials; cruise3sixty seminars, and CLIA’s traveling seminar series TrainingFest. Blomquist has been involved in CLIA’s training and certification programs for 11 years.