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Host Agents in Las Vegas

August 1, 2008 By: Jena Tesse Fox Home-Based Travel Agent

A one-day symposium in sin city encouraged dialogue between suppliers and host agencies

TO IMPRESS UPON SUPPLIERS JUST HOW VITAL HOME-BASED AGENTS CAN BE FOR THEIR BUSINESS, Travel Agent Media Group partnered with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to present the Host Agency Symposium in late May. More than 50 local suppliers and representatives from hotels and attractions attended the gathering at Caesars Palace, and the presidents of four leading host agencies presented a panel on the emerging distribution channel, called "Home-Based Agents." Travel Agent Media Group's Kerry Cannon moderated the panel, which consisted of Jackie Friedman, general manager of Nexion; Pam Miller, president of Magellan360; Peter Rasmussen, president of Travel Counsellors; and Bill Alverson, president and CEO of Joystar Inc. Combined, these host agencies generate more than $700 million in sales.  1. Bill Alverson, Kerry Cannon, Pam Miller, Jackie Friedman, Peter Rasmussen and Victor Fernandez.

Some issues discussed by the panel included the definition of a host agency, the efforts made to attract young travel agents and current economic trends in the industry. "The host symposium was a great learning experience for the hotel and vendor community in Las Vegas," said Ed Fioravante, sales executive, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. 2. The lobby of the Red Rock Hotel where the agents and suppliers went to enjoy lunch.

3.  Moderator Kerry Cannon addressing the symposium. Seated, from left, are Jackie Friedman, Peter Rasmussen, Pam Miller and Bill Alverson.

4. The view from the Viva Dining Room at the Red Rock Hotel, away from the Strip, emphasizes the natural beauty of Nevada.

5.  The exterior of Caesars Palace on the Vegas Strip, where the symposium was held.

6.  The exterior of the Red Rock, with dramatic mountain ranges in the background.

7. Victor Fernandez; Bill Alverson; Kathy Alverson (also of Joystar); Pam Miller; Kerry Cannon; Jackie Friedman; Michael Toney, corporate VP sales of Station Casinos; Ed Fioravante of LVCVA; and Sam Amoia, director of leisure sales at Station Casinos.

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