Industry News 8-31-2007

*Star Alliance Agent Round The World Contest
*Little Damage From Hurricane Dean
*Mancini To Present At NTA
*And More...

Star Alliance Agent Round The World Contest

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Star Alliance has announced a new competition exclusively for ARC-appointed travel agencies in the U.S. Travel agents who book and ticket flights on Star Alliance member carriers from now until Oct. 12 are eligible.

“As part of our 10th anniversary we want to acknowledge the wonderful support we have received from travel agents who have worked closely with us since our founding. This competition is our way of showing our appreciation and also to let them know that they are an integral part of Star Alliance’s travel network,” said Nanci Cheberenchick, director of sales and market development, Americas.

The winner will receive a 29,000-mile Star Alliance Round the World Business Class ticket for two people, including airline taxes, fees and surcharges. To enter the competition, travel agents have to visit the Star Alliance Web site at and provide their contact information, travel agency details and the ticket number they have booked. Participants will have to answer four multiple choice questions. All entries with correct answers to the four questions are eligible for the drawing, which is determined by a tiebreaker. In the event that two or more participants answer the tiebreaker question correctly, a further tiebreaker question will be supplied to determine the ultimate winner. Entrants will be given three working days to answer the second tiebreaker question. There is no limit to the number of entries to the competition as long as each entry complies with the entry criteria.

From the U.S., 16 Star Alliance member carriers Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, THAI, United and US Airways offer more than 4,665 weekly international flights to reach 78 international destinations in 52 countries. Star Alliance Gold customers have access to more than 650 airport lounges worldwide. Air China and Shanghai Airlines will join Star Alliance in December; Turkish Airlines is scheduled to join Star Alliance in early 2008.

Little Damage From Hurricane Dean

Tourism officials along Mexico’s Caribbean coast have all breathed a collective sigh of relief in light of the relatively slight impact of Hurricane Dean. Described as the most severe Atlantic hurricane in two decades, Dean cut a swath across the Yucatan Peninsula in mid-August. With maximum winds of 165 mph, the region’s hotels, resorts, restaurants and shops were bracing for the worst. Fortunately, the storm left relatively mild damage in its aftermath, especially when compared to the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Wilma and Stan in 2005. Those storms severely crippled Cancun’s tourism industry.

Though Dean did uproot thousands of trees and utility poles, no deaths or major destruction were reported. Mexican hotels and resorts were generally praised for their emergency preparedness, which enabled them to safely evacuate thousands of tourists.

“State officials and congress are pleased that Quintana Roo was spared what could have been a much worse situation,” said a news release from Mexico’s tourism board.

Tourism is a billion-dollar-per-year industry in the Mexican Caribbean region. Clean-up work is expected to be completed in time for high season, which begins in October.

Mancini To Present At NTA

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Dr. Marc Mancini
Dr. Marc Mancini, of Marc Mancini Seminars and Consulting, will present a special seminar session for travel agents at the 2007 National Tour Association Annual Convention in Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 2-6. The session is part of a one-day program on Friday for travel agents and other professional travel buyers. Entitled “Everything You Wanted to Know about Selling Tours,” the seminar is designed to help travel agents and other buyers understand how to work with tour operators for bigger profits.

“Tour operators sell the great majority of their products through travel agents, bank travel planners and other professional buyers,” said Mancini. “Yet these travel buyers receive little training on working with tour operators and how to best sell tour packages.”

The National Tour Association has a global membership of tourism professionals involved in the growth and development of packaged travel.


Disney Travel Presentations DISNEY

Throughout the month of September, the Disneyland Resort is hosting a series of trade presentations across the Western U.S. and Canada, to showcase plans for a 2008 encore of its popular “Year of a Million Dreams” celebration. Dates and cities are:

San Jose, CASept. 5
Walnut Creek, CASept. 6
Sacramento, CASept. 7
Portland, ORSept. 10
Sacramento, CASept. 7
Seattle, WASept. 11
Vancouver, B.C.Sept. 13
Calgary, ABSept. 17
Salt Lake City, UTSept. 19
Denver, COSept. 21
Tucson, AZSept. 25
Phoenix, AZSept. 26
Las Vegas, NVSept. 28

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Disney’s High School Musical experience
“Educating our travel trade partners is an important priority for us,” said Claire Bilby, senior vice president of sales and distribution marketing for the Disneyland Resort. “We want to provide agents with as much information as we can about our 2008 programs and products, so that they can create their own sales plans to take advantage of this hugely popular Disney celebration.”

The Disneyland Resort will share details about new attractions, interactive experiences and new magical moments involved in its 2008 Year of a Million Dreams. The celebration features the summer opening of its new Toy Story Mania attraction, an interactive 3-D ride-through attraction based on the film “Toy Story” and located at Disney’s California Adventure.

Additional elements of the 2008 Year of a Million Dreams include a new Pixar character-themed parade, an enhanced Playhouse Disney with new characters and a new High School Musical 2 “School’s Out” entertainment experience at Disney’s California Adventure.

Space is limited and agents must make reservations.

Thrifty Car Rentals Awards Triple Miles

Thrifty Car Rental is offering customers the chance to earn triple frequent flyer miles/points with eight airlines and a hotel partner at participating Thrifty locations worldwide. Participating airlines include Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, American Airlines AAdvantage, ATA Airlines Travel Awards, Continental OnePass, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, Northwest Airlines WorldPerks, United Airlines Mileage Plus and US Airways Dividend Miles programs. Customers can also earn triple points with the Best Western Gold Crown Club International loyalty program.

The offer applies to bookings made online at between now and Nov. 15. A minimum three-day rental of a midsize car or larger vehicle from Thrifty is required. To book a qualifying rental, use promotion code TPE7 when making a reservation. Twenty-four-hour advance reservations are required.