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ASTA's THETRADESHOW Kicks OffSeptember 11, 2006 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
ORLANDO -- Travel Agent was on site for the official kickoff of the American
Society of Travel Agents' (ASTA) first "THETRADESHOW: Travel Retailing and
Destination Expo" Sunday as travel industry representatives from around
the world gathered at the Orange County Convention Center.
Cheryl Hudak Sworn in as New ASTA President
Before more than 600 exhibitors set up shop, ASTA held a morning meeting to announce its newly sworn-in elected officials as well as winners of its annual awards. Kathryn W. Sudeikis, CTC, now the former President and CEO, led off the meeting by passing the torch to Cheryl Hudak, CTC. Previously serving as national vice president, Hudak, owner of Travel Dimensions, Inc. in
And the Winners Are...
Rae Anne Ryan, CTC, president and owner of Travel Affiliates in
Kari Thomas, CTC, president of Will Travel Inc. in
Bruce W. Wolff, CTC, was presented with ASTA's 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, Wolff-who joined Marriott International in 1984 as vice president, sales and marketing for the In-Flight Services division-was named executive vice president-sales and marketing programs and a corporate officer for Marriott International, where he was responsible for assisting with the strategic direction and integration of global sales, marketing and e-commerce.
Dan Hanrahan, president of Celebrity Cruises was named the Allied Member of the Year. Hanrahan previously served for six years as senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International's sister brand. During that period, he repositioned the Celebrity brand to appeal to a broader, more active consumer market. Marketing campaigns under Hanrahan's oversight have earned numerous awards, including Gold and Silver EFFIES in 2001 and 2002 from the American Marketing Association, Hispanic Marketer of the Year for 2001 from the Miami Chamber of Commerce and web excellence awards from Gomez, Forbes and the Web Marketing Association (WMA). Celebrity International's web site also was named "Travel Web Site of the Year" for both 2001 and 2002 by the WMA.
Notable Announcements from the Floor
Worldspan, global travel technology leader, announced the launching of the new Worldspan Go! The new car-and-hotel booking tools give agents the option to book and sell car rentals by first shopping availability and information-or quickly "direct sell" a car. The feature includes shopping by city name, by airport or from an all-locations list. Also, a new comparison-shopping feature provides results based on price, location, car company and car company address. Also, travel agents can arrange hotel reservations quicker. The tool caters to agents who are unfamiliar with traditional GDS formats, which are replaced by point-and-click access to Worldspan's global hotel search capabilities. Agents can view property images, save hotels during a search and also save My Favorite hotel search for subsequent shopping requests. Maps and driving directions are also available. Agents can access the new tools within the Worldspan Go! Script Index and then select either Car Booking or Hotel Booking.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Board announced a handful of plans for the end of the year. In December, nonstop flights offered by JetBlue Airways will begin leaving out of
CruiseShippers, a luggage handling service designed for cruise vacationers, announced the recent launch of its new web site tool that enables agents to purchase online. Commissions are based on volume. For more information, go to www.cruiseshippers.com.
The Alaska Travel Industry Association is launching this week new online training courses for agents. Four modules are available on the site aimed at teaching agents to become certified experts in
Rent-A-Phone, which offers rented phones in more than 200 countries, offered new commission for agents who book the service. Agents will receive $25 for every phone rented to clients.