Chicago, IL –July 25, 2007: PATH, the Professional Association of Travel Hosts, just announced an 82% increase in the number of host agency members that are currently on the roster. The membership drive campaign began in January, and PATH continues to attract host agencies and suppliers that fit the criteria and agree to PATH’s high standards of operation.
“The growth of PATH over the course of the past six months has confirmed that the travel industry needs and embraces a professional organization that is dedicated to the recognition of reputable host agencies,” said Anita Pagliasso, a charter board member of PATH and president of A Ticket to Travel in San Jose, CA. “We’re thrilled that PATH has added several new qualified host agencies to our membership roster who share PATH’s vision to define what constitutes a professional host agency and agree to work under the highest industry standards.”
In addition to the original charter members, PATH membership has now expanded to include several more host agencies including:
- Fare Deals Travel
- Gulliver’s Travel Services
- Int’l Tours of Houston
- TerraMar Travel, Inc.
- The Travel Center
- Vacation Consultants of America
- World Travel Management
“TerraMar Travel, Inc. has been concerned about the reputability of some host agencies and felt it important to join an organization that was interested in maintaining professionalism in the host agency segment of the industry,” said Rhonda Shumway, CTC, president of TerraMar Travel, Inc. “We looked at PATH and its mission statement and we chose to offer our support by joining together to work toward establishing a code of ethics for host agencies. In addition, PATH members have the opportunity to network and associate with other professionals in the industry who share a common vision.”
“I joined PATH to make sure that the top host agencies all played by the same rules and regulations,” said Chris Morse, president and team leader of Corporate Travel USA and The Travel Center USA. “I wanted to join an organization that checks, monitors, and provides leadership for legitimate host agencies in the US.”
On the supplier side of the association, several key suppliers have joined PATH since the launch began. The newest supplier members include:
- Auto Europe
- Azamara Cruises
- Career Quest Training
- Carnival Cruise Lines
- CCRA International
- Celebrity Cruises
- Globus – Cosmos – Brennan – Monograms — Avalon Waterways
- Steps of Paul Coastal Cruises
- TravelSafe Insurance
“The Globus Family of Brands works closely with the home-based travel agent community, and PATH has opened up to us an opportunity to work within a professional framework with these agents,” said Kathleen Kavanagh, manager of the Home Based Channel for Globus Family of Brands. “It cleared the air for us as a supplier to know who legitimately supports home-based agents and is willing to work with suppliers to provide the necessary educational opportunities.”
Several suppliers feel that it is difficult to determine who to work with when dealing with home-based agents, and according to Kavanagh, “suppliers don’t have the means to dig deeper to find the gold mines to improve their businesses. By joining PATH, you can clear away some of the ‘rubble’ and have a starting point to help formulate your company strategy in this aspect of our industry.”
“The travel industry is strengthened because PATH has established standards and a code of ethics for host agencies,” explained Scott Perfetto, president and CEO of TravelSafe Insurance. “This challenges companies to take a look at the way they do business and identify those policies and procedures which may be substandard. For suppliers, PATH provides an opportunity for solid communication with host agencies that are committed to excellence.”
“Career Quest Training Center is an online training center for new agents entering the travel industry. Upon completion of our program, the next step to a successful travel career is linking with a good host agency – one that will provide the new agent with the support they need,” said Nancy Kist, CTC, president of Career Quest Training Center. “This is why Career Quest has become a member of PATH. We want to be able to refer our graduates to their members and be able to offer PATH members ongoing education and discounted tuition.”
To maintain their high standards, PATH members must hold to several bylaws, including:
- Must not market their service emphasis on Travel Agent discounts and benefits.
- Must be a member of ARC, CLIA or IATAN and be in good standing.
- Has/have minimum of three years in travel operating primarily as a “Host” Agency, and must have a minimum of 10 Independent Contractor Agents under written contract.
- Must not market their services as part of a consumer recruitment process with benefits resembling a multi-level marketing scheme.
- Must certify that there are no pending travel related lawsuits concerning the payment of agent commissions and/or fraudulent practices.
PATH, Professional Association of Travel Hosts, is the only host agency-driven organization in the travel industry and it is a valuable resource for independent and home-based agents to find information on or to locate host agencies who have met the stringent qualifications for membership. PATH’s membership includes both host agencies and travel suppliers and more information is available at www.pathonline.travel or by calling Host Agency Membership Committee person Nancy Peklo-Nosal with Design Travel at (847) 577-7930 ext. 202. For information about Supplier Membership please call Andi McClure-Mysza at (818) 553-3226 or email@example.com.