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What's New in the Industry?April 1, 2008 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Home-Based Travel Agent
Technology, Training and Surprise Moves Impact Home-Based Agents
Partners In Travel
Partners In Travel announced the addition of new travel technologies, including the comprehensive proprietary client management and reporting system TravelConnect. They will also launch a new internal message-board program.
"This user-friendly message board will provide even more support to our agents who may be working alone at their homes all day and simply want a second opinion on a new supplier or have a quick question on a particular destination," explained Paula Davenport, business development specialist for Partners In Travel. "After seeing how beneficial it has been for our agents to meet and network together at our annual conventions, we determined that there was an overwhelming need for a message-board forum they could use to keep the conversation going on how to better serve their clients."
This is in addition to their recent launch of live online training classes. The interactive sessions cover a variety of topics, including basic computer skills and in-house procedures, and feature destination snapshots and guest speakers. Partners can also sign up for the upcoming Partners In Travel Annual Convention on October 30 onboard the Carnival Destiny. The convention will offer three days of professional training and networking opportunities. For more information, visit www.partnersintravel.com or call 800-683-9092.
Travel Counsellors Hires NACTA Founder
Founder of the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents (NACTA), Joanie Ogg, joined Travel Counsellors as senior vice president of global sales and industry relations. Travel Counsellors USA is a global host agency with more than 900 full-time, professional travel counselors.
"Joanie is synonymous with the home-based travel segment," says Peter Rasmussen, president of Travel Counsellors, USA., "and her expertise in the field is unsurpassed."
Ogg helped the industry community better understand the complexities and entrepreneurial nature of the home-based travel agent. She now joins the company that founded the home-based travel segment in the United Kingdom. (Travel Counsellors launched the home-working market in the U.K. in 1993 and entered the U.S. market last year.)
"For me, this move is a chance to be part of the successful future of the home-based market," says Ogg, who will also remain active in NACTA.
In turn, NACTA named Scott Koepf, former vice president of strategic business for Sabre Holdings, as their new president.
Prior to joining Sabre Holdings, Koepf served as general manager for both Nexion, a host travel agency with more than $250 million in annual sales, and Jurni, a travel-agency consortium.
Koepf was president and owner of Ultimate Seminars and was earlier affiliated with Cruise Holidays, a major franchise group. Koepf started his assignment April 1.