News of Note

Joystar Adds E&O Insurance for Member Agents

Joystar, a travel agency network and seller of cruises and vacations, announced that it has purchased a $2-million professional liability insurance policy that covers all of its home-based travel agents. "The high cost of E&O insurance has been a major topic of concern for all travel agents," stated William M. Alverson, Joystar's chairman and CEO.

Princess Names Director to Focus on Home-Based Travel Agents

Princess Cruises has appointed Richard "RJ" Forgham to the newly created position of director of channel sales. In this role, Forgham will oversee the development of business-building resources for home-based travel agents, in addition to creating new tools for the travel industry's many unique sales channels. Forgham's responsibilities include the development of Princess' many electronic sales tools, including the POLAR Online booking engine, OneSource Academy training program, and online set up of new groups through POLAR.

NACTA Names Super Stars

The National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents named home-based agents Alishah Kier and Nancy Terracciano as "NACTA Super Stars" at the NACTA Home-Based Agent Appreciation Day event in Orlando September 13. Kier is working on the "Locks of Love" cruise raising funds to benefit cancer survivors, was nominated to be a Godmother for Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas and she successfully established a new chapter for NACTA in North Carolina. Terracciano has organized two "Passport Saturdays," with a third on the way, in cooperation with her local post office, to make the public aware of new passport regulations.

Agents' Key Role in Travel Insurance Sales

Travel agents play a key role in selling travel insurance, according to the recently released results of a consumer study conducted by the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (USTIA). Consumers who plan their trips through travel professionals are twice as likely to purchase travel insurance as those who book trips themselves. According to the study, 77 percent of those who work with a travel agent to book their vacation bought travel insurance. Longer trips, more travelers in a group, significant pre-paid spending and the purpose of travel were all factors of why travelers purchase insurance.

Jurni Announces 2006 Supplier Awards at 3rd Annual Conference

Jurni, a leisure travel consortium, presented the following awards at its September conference: Best Agent Sales & Support: Travel Impressions; Best Agent Booking Tools: Funjet Vacations; Best Field Sales Managers: Globus Family of Brands; Best Sales Tools: Royal Caribbean International; Best Group Department: Celebrity Cruises; Best Training: Princess Cruises. Jurni also announced 2007 initiatives including themed marketing campaigns and single supplier direct mail pieces.