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Going for GoldMay 26, 2008 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Hertz's incentive program encourages agents to book car rentals
The recent launch by Hertz of its new Agent Gold Rewards incentive program for travel agents underscores a reality for the company: Travel agents are delivering value revenue to one of the world’s best-known travel brands.
Hertz Gold will offer professional travel agents strong incentives to increase sales of Hertz’s full range of car rental products globally, and reward them with an easy-to-use point system to earn diverse rewards.
Pam Wright, division vice president, travel industry and partnership sales for Hertz, views Hertz Gold as an affirmation of the vital role professional travel agents—including home-based independents—play in giving Hertz a competitive edge in both leisure and corporate car rental sales.
Agents enrolled in the new program will earn 10 reward points for each qualifying rental of three days or more, with points deposited into an online account. Information is available at www.hertzagentgold.com. Rewards include high-end luxury items, concert tickets, jewelry and household items.
Wright, herself an agent and former ASTA executive, today presides over a comprehensive program of business-building support for travel agents. This includes a professional sales staff, promotional resources, education and training, as well as booking systems all backed by a world-class product.
Equally important, Wright and Hertz maintain strong working relationships with the industry, including agency consortia and host agencies. Notable among these are Hertz’s long-standing exclusive relationship with AAA and a recently announced exclusive partnership with Vacation.com.
Incentives and Options
Wright, a 24-year veteran of Hertz, believes that travel agents are well positioned to encourage car rentals as part of packages. “Car rental sales should be an important part of every agency and agents’ revenue stream,” she says. “They can prove profitable.”
A Ford Fusion from Hertz's Green Collection.
With 1,500 off-airport locations and three car collections with broad appeal, Hertz brings enormous resources and a high-integrity global brand that clients know and respect. Its Green Collection focuses on fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly cars; the Prestige Collection includes high-end luxury vehicles; and the Fun Collection includes vehicles tailored to travelers seeking exciting driving experiences.
Booking car rentals is easy. Travel agents can use either the four GDS systems or book online at www.hertz.com. This includes policies on commissions and other programs impacting agents. Hertz pays agents a standard commission of 10 percent on non-discounted rentals and 5 percent on discounted rentals. There are also special incentives, including rewards for agency referrals and productivity rewards. Agents handling small-business clients should also look at Hertz’s program that rewards both agents and business clients.
Wright also sees online technologies, including booking tools like Vacation.com’s EZguider, as helpful in getting agents to promote car rentals for their clients. Dynamic packaging tools also help build car rental sales, and agents should be alert to rental opportunities on pre- and post-cruise tours.
In addition to the new Agent Gold incentive program, Wright expects to expand Hertz’s online training resources for agents in the year ahead. “We invite professional travel agents to explore our programs, services and support, and to partner with us,” she says. “We have the brand [that] leisure and corporate travelers respect.”
As proof of the program’s value and efficiency, Hertz reported record first-quarter 2008 revenues of $2.04 billion worldwide, a 6.1 percent year-over-year gain, and reported a record $8.69 billion in revenues for 2007.