Expansions, Affiliations, Hires

Travel Counsellors Down Under

Travel Counsellors, the largest home-based travel company in the UK, has announced its plans for expansion into Australia, which follow on the heels of its recent announcement to open in South Africa as well. This is the sixth launch of the concept overseas in the past two-and-a-half years. Travel Counsellors now has more than 780 Travel Counsellors worldwide and also operates from Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and the U.S.

Travel Counsellors has been planning Australian expansion for more than nine months. The operation's headquarters will be based in Melbourne, with full-time professional home-based agents operating throughout the country. The company appointed Peter Watson and Tim Martin as directors of the Australian company, as general manager and head of sales respectively; both report to group Managing Director Steve Byrne.

Travel Counsellors hopes to recruit up to 70 home-based Travel Counsellors in Australia in its first year of business.

Travel Counsellors continues to grow in the U.S. market, as well, and has announced the addition of Kim Sherrett as manager of recruitment, who joins newly appointed General Manager Peter Rasmussen in leading the U.S. growth.

AVC to Open New Global HQ

America's Vacation Center (AVC) relocates its global headquarters to Vista, CA, in July. Due to the number of cruise and vacation package bookings by travelers, AVC has increased its amount of support staff and has outgrown its current location.

AVC's new global headquarters is more than twice the size of its former office and provides the space necessary for its ongoing staff expansion.

Also, AVC announced in April 2007 that it will open a support office in south Florida by the end of the year in order to increase its presence on the east coast and further develop its relationships with the world's largest cruise lines. The company is projected to double the number of travelers served this year by planning cruise and vacation packages.

Professional travel agents interested in affiliating with America's Vacation Center should call 800-521-2597 or visit www.joinavc.com.

Joystar Joins Vacation.com

Joystar, Inc., a host agency, has joined Vacation.com, a North American travel services marketing organization. The primary benefit for Joystar members is Vacation.com's Engagement direct marketing program. Each year, Joystar agents will be able to participate in 50-plus targeted direct mailings and numerous e-mail offers to drive up their bookings and revenue.

Vacation.com works with more than 100 of the top cruise, vacation package and tour suppliers in the industry. In addition to enhanced revenue opportunities and comprehensive direct marketing programs, Joystar and its network of professional travel agents can attend the Vacation.com annual International Conference and Tradeshow (which took place in New Orleans June 27–July 1), regional and online educational events and a variety of fam trips and seminars at sea. Visit www.joinvacation.com/2007_conference or call 800-843-0733.

CruisShipCenters USA's New GM

Dan Chappelle has been named general manager of CruiseShipCenters USA Inc. In this newly created role, Chappelle will be responsible for operating CruiseShipCenters' first U.S.-based retail location and host agency in Bellevue, WA, as well as growing the base of independent contractors and home-based agents throughout the United States. Chappelle is a Master Cruise Counselor (MCC) certified by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Last month, the company announced a partnership with Expedia.

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