Educational and Marketing Opportunities for Agents

ASTA Schedules Seminars On Business Success

Travel agency owners, managers and employees can enhance their education and develop new skills without having to leave the office, thanks to new "virtual" courses offered by ASTA. These interactive, live seminars are conducted over the telephone and Internet. Curriculum is assembled by top educational and business institutions such as Harvard Business School and Kiplinger Washington Editors, and the seminar speakers are business strategists and entrepreneurs who draw on their own experiences and share tips for success. Topics include avoiding bad hires, improving customer service to increase a business' bottom line, and creating long-term growth.

Registration fee varies for each seminar. Two sessions were conducted earlier this fall, and the next seminar will take place on Tuesday, December 18. The program, "Great Customer Service Improves Your Bottom Line," will feature presenters Paul Cherry and Patrick Connor from Performance Based Results, a sales and leadership training organization. They will focus on creative ways to soothe the most demanding customer, things that business should never reveal to customers and the best way to set your business apart from the competition during the initial customer contact.

ASTA has developed the new programs in conjunction with KRM Virtual Seminars. For pricing or registration, visit or contact Rebecca LeFevre ([email protected], 703-739-6872).

New NACTA Programs Certify Agents as Specialists

NACTA is offering two new training courses for travel agents who wish to enhance their knowledge of specialty cruise markets or their relationship with a leading operator to the Caribbean.

The Apple Vacations Specialist program leads to a preferred relationship with Apple. There is no charge for enrollment, and participating agents will be provided with each course in the program as it is released.

For agents seeking to expand the inventory of cruise products they sell, NACTA has introduced a Certified Niche Cruise Specialist program with the Niche Cruise Marketing Association (NCMA), which is made up of several non-CLIA cruise lines from around the world. This certification will reward agents with additional commissions from new market segments. Visit Urges Members To Update Client Contact List, a travel services marketing organization and subsidiary of Amadeus, is encouraging member agencies to submit an updated client contact list in order to take full advantage of the Engagement marketing program. Members can opt in to any of the direct mail campaigns offered by more than 40 industry suppliers and have the mailers sent to their clients for free or at a nominal cost. Mail pieces carry the agent's contact information

"Over 10 percent of the population moves annually, so it is imperative for our members to update their lists to remain in direct contact with their clients," said Stephen McGillivray, vice president of marketing,

Participating suppliers include Globus, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Viking River Cruises, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

For more information, visit or contact the Membership Department at [email protected] or 800-843-0733.