TO IMPRESS UPON SUPPLIERS JUST HOW VITAL HOME-BASED AGENTS CAN BE FOR THEIR BUSINESS, Travel Agent Media Group partnered with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to present the Host Agency Symposium in late May. More than 50 local suppliers and representatives from hotels and attractions attended the gathering at Caesars Palace, and the presidents of four leading host agencies presented a panel on the emerging distribution channel, called "Home-Based Agents." Travel Agent Media Group's Kerry Cannon moderated the panel, which consisted of Jackie Friedman, general manager of Nexion; Pam Miller, president of Magellan360; Peter Rasmussen, president of Travel Counsellors; and Bill Alverson, president and CEO of Joystar Inc. Combined, these host agencies generate more than $700 million in sales.
Some issues discussed by the panel included the definition of a host agency, the efforts made to attract young travel agents and current economic trends in the industry. "The host symposium was a great learning experience for the hotel and vendor community in Las Vegas," said Ed Fioravante, sales executive, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.