Travel Agent was on location this past weekend for UK-based Travel Counsellors' 2008 conference in Marbella, Spain. The host agency, which has agents in England, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, the U.S., and, most recently, Canada, welcomed more than 1,300 delegates in attendance for a weekend of company updates, fam trips and specific sessions geared towards different aspects of the industry— including how to beat the Internet, inspirational talks, and how best to utilize the company's technology. The conference was held at the Marbella Exhibition and Conference Center and was sponsored by the Spanish Tourist Office and the tourist offices of Andalucia and Costa del Sol.
In an exclusive interview with Darya Camacci, senior vice president of operations for Travel Counsellors USA, Travel Agent learned that the U.S. branch, which launched in 2006, will add a corporate division to their operations in January 2009. Camacci explained that the U.S. branch is already out of the stages of testing and will bring in five corporate agents to help with 24-hour service. "Right now, our travel counselors operate with small- to medium-size business," Camacci says. "Corporate agents can link up with our leisure agents and know more about a destination from a leisure perspective." The launch of this division is expected to be a huge boost to the company's already successful sales record. In turn, corporate and leisure agents can also pair and work together on an account and share the commission.
Camacci took over the day-to-day operations of the U.S. branch after industry vets Peter Rasmussen and Joanie Ogg left the company earlier this year. Camacci commented on the changes in staff by mentioning that Rasmussen served his purpose in the company by helping to build the management team of the US branch and that Ogg decided to pursue other ventures. Camacci looks forward to the new updates to the US branch in 2009.