ITME's 2007 Motivation Show

Travel Agent MET WITH MANY OF THE MORE THAN 500 TRAVEL INDUSTRY SUPPLIERS at Chicago's 2007 Motivation Show (www.motivationshow.com), September 25-27. Here are some highlights.

South Africa Tourism (800-593-1318, www.safundi.net) discussed the recent relaunch of its Fundi Travel Agent Course, a free online program designed to produce South African trade experts. "We work very closely with agents; they're very important partners for our continued growth," explained Adel Grobler, marketing and communications manager in the U.S. for South African Tourism.

Less than 60 miles from Edinburgh and a member of the prestigious The Leading Hotels of the World, Scotland's Gleneagles Hotel (866-463-8734, www.gleneagles.com) has been pampering travelers and golf enthusiasts since 1924. Not one to rest on its five-star rating, Gleneagles recently underwent a $35 million renovation that will reward visitors with many new and improved amenities: Deseo, an acclaimed new restaurant serving creative culinary treats opened in July; August saw the premier of the Gun Dog School, which teaches guests how to handle the country's famous dogs while pursuing ammunition-driven outdoor pursuits; and the decadent Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA will open its doors in January 2008, offering high-end beauty and spa treatments.

Rebuilding New Orleans

New Orleans is reaching out aggressively to agents in an effort to continue rebuilding its tourism industry. Its Christmas New Orleans Style Fam (800-488-4364, www.neworleanscvb.com) is a ridiculously affordable $50 package that includes two nights of hotel accommodations (anytime between December 7 and 23), lunch at a French Quarter restaurant, a cooking demonstration, museum admissions and lots of extras (they even comp café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde).

On the heels of its mid-summer recapitalization, Dolce International (800-98-DOLCE, www.dolce.com), a 25-property hospitality company with holdings in North America and Europe, has plans to open Bend, Oregon's first luxury resort and spa in spring 2009 and its second property in Munich, Germany, in late 2008.

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