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Isram Forms Agent Advisory Board

April 16, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

With CEO Ady Gelber back at the helm of IsramWorld,
the agent-exclusive tour operator is now laying the groundwork for an active 2008, which will see the formation of a travel agent advisory board.  Ady Gelber

The decision stems from the company's commitment to travel
agents, the best and least expensive channel for distribution, Gelber told Travel
during a visit to his Park Avenue office in New York. "We're looking to do better
by the travel agents—and we're not just talking commissions here," he

Isram, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this May, is in
the throes of assembling an advisory board of agency heads to routinely discuss
how Isram can better serve the agent community. Invitations to join the board
already have been sent—though Gelber declined to say to whom—and the first
meeting is set for June.

"For our developments in 2008, I will need their input,"
he says. "The same loyalty that we show to travel agents, we expect they
will show to us."

In recent weeks, Isram has announced a series of new tours
and service enhancements.

Beginning April 17, the company will extend the hours of its
New York headquarters to 8 p.m. Eastern time
to accommodate agents in the Midwest and on
the West Coast.

Family Travel on the Rise

Believing family travel is "no longer limited to theme
parks and beach holidays," Isram earlier this month unveiled a new series
of family-oriented vacation packages in Asia, like "Family Fun
Thailand," a seven-night vacation with stops in Bangkok, the floating
market and the Golden Triangle area. This is in addition to a new family tour
in central Europe, the 12-day "Family Discovery Tour," with stops in Budapest, Prague, Vienna and Salzburg.
"Family travel is growing very much," Gelber says.

He attributes about 48 percent of the company's business to
trips to Israel, followed by
the Orient and Latin America. IsramWorld,
which houses seven specialty tour operators, also offers educational excursions
for doctors with the Academy for International Medical Study, as well as Jewish
heritage tours through the AJCongress International Travel Program.

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