Coral Sands Travel reports it has combined operations with Expedia CruiseShipCenters-OVC (Online Vacation Center). Founded by Peter Stilphen, president, in 2003, Coral Sands is estimated to have 400 home based agents and has been based in the Fort Myers, FL area.
Ed Rudner, chairman of the franchise firm, established Expedia CruiseShipCenters-OVC in 2010. The two host agencies will be known as Expedia CruiseShipCenters-OVC and will be based in the Ft. Lauderdale area with an estimated combined membership of 600.
“Our independent agents are comprised of both newcomers just entering the travel industry and experienced travel sellers. Our agents all have one thing in common; they are serious about travel and have a desire to succeed. There are both part-time and full-time agents, “ Stilphen said.
The move will deliver superior technology and advanced marketing techniques to member agents and strong brand identification, Stilphen said. “ I expect that the year ahead will see more partnerships between host agencies, including mergers and acquisitions.”
Stilphen noted that agents will gain an Expedia CSC-0VC branded booking website that is included in the monthly $29 fee. The website offers a consumer booking engine for cruises, air, hotels, car rentals and land packages.
Members will also have access to an extensive blocked group space inventory to sell to individuals or to groups, Stilphen noted. Agents will also get access to the IATAN and CLIA photo ID cards where qualified, Stilphen said.