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Travel Clubs and Non-Travel Services

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"America is a nation of joiners," said Patrick Gorman, chief executive officer of Encore Travel Club, Lanham, MD. This club, as others, maintains that they offer members discounts that they could not ordinarily obtain on their own, along with professional advice. Many clubs start locally, but a few like Encore market nationally, negotiating discounts based on the purchasing power of some 400,000 members. These clubs often publish their own magazine or newsletter. They employ people to negotiate with travel companies and reservationists to service members, as well as most of the other professionals of a tour wholesaler/travel agent.

Also on the list of "gray area" retailers are barter companies that negotiate deals involving an exchange of goods and services instead of cash for travel. This is another borderline industry.

The travel industry is so pervasive, incorporating so many services, products, and needs, that it draw many other companies into the industry that you might not even consider. For example, AT&T and MCI are in the travel business, as are most other major telecommunications companies, since the travel industry uses so much in the way of communications. AT&T employs travel industry specialists to market and sell its services.

Citicorp Diners' Club, American Express, Visa and Master-Card, and other travel and entertainment card companies are also very much in the travel business. So are insurance companies, like Travellers Insurance, Mutual of Omaha, and Travel Guard, which specialize in products that the travel agency industry offers their clients. Other insurance companies, like The Berkeley Group, specialize in professional liability insurance for the travel industry.

There are visa agencies, such as Visa Advisors, Washington, D.C., that specialize in obtaining visas for individuals, companies, travel agencies, and tour operators. There are marketing companies and direct-mail houses, such as Todd Travel Promotion, Hauppauge, NY; representation companies, like Forster Associates Travel Marketing, Los Gatos, CA; and consultancies, like Douglas Thompson & Associates, San Francisco.

Finally, there are currency exchange companies that are actively promoting services for both the travelers and the travel companies, like Deak Pereira, New York, and Reusch International, Washington, D.C. These companies not only service travelers with foreign currency and travelers checks but also have various financial instruments that travel companies use for their international payments and receipts.

Contacts and Sources

In the area of travel technology, contact:

Information Industry Association,

316 Pennsylvania Ave., SE,

Ste. 400,

Washington, D.C. 20003.

In the area of research and marketing, contact:

Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA),

P.O. Box 8066,

Foothill Station,

Salt Lake City, UT 84108, tel. 801- 581-3351.

In the area of advertising, consult Standard Rate and Data Services Directory of Advertisers and its Directory of Advertising Agencies. Also consult Advertising Age and Ad-Week, the leading industry trade publications.

To find out which public relations agencies represent a good number of travel clients, talk to reporters on trade publications or check Jack O Dwyer's Newsletter (it announces which public relations agencies landed which accounts). Also consult P.R. Contacts and Media Notes.

In the area of travel writing, apart from the major travel trade and consumer press publications, check Writer's Market (send query and self-addressed and stamped envelope for reply to the appropriate editor) and Standard Rate and Data Services directories for leads. Other sources include:

American Business Press,

205 E. 42nd St.

New York, NY 10017.

Society of American Travel Writers (SATW),

1155 Connecticut Ave.,

NW, Ste. 500,

Washington, D.C. 20036, Tel: 202- 429-6639.

In the area of guidebook writing, contact brand-name publishing companies such as Prentice-Hall, Houghton Mifflin, and John Wiley & Sons. Also check Writer's Market and Publishers Weekly.

In the area of travel photography, consult the Yellow Pages for names of stock houses. Also consult Writer's Market or Photographer's Market for leads.

In the area of education and training, check A Guide to College Programs in Hospitality and Tourism by the Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, published by John Wiley & Sons. Other sources include:

Society of Travel and Tourism Educators,

19364 Woodcrest,

Harper Woods, MI 48225, tel. 313-526-0710.

American Society of Travel Agents' Scholarship Foundation, 1101 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314; publishes a travel school directory.

National Tour Foundation (NTF), 546 E. Main St., Lexington, KY 40508; publishes a listing of 700 schools with tourism-related programs.

In the area of association work, for additional leads beyond those given in this chapter, contact the American Society of Association Executives and consult the Directory of Associations.

In the area of travel industry law, contact:

International Forum for Travel and Tourism Advocates, Alexander Anolik, U.S. delegate, Professional Law Corp., 693 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94102.

In the area of off-tariff retailers and barter companies, check with:

American Association of Discount Travel Brokers,

85 South Union Blvd.,

Ste. G300,

Lakewood, CO 80228, Tel: 303- 969-9352.

International Reciprocal Trade Association,

4012 Moss Place, Alexandria, VA 22304.
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