March 13, 2013
September 10, 2012ASTA/ITSA Names Haskins, Thomas O’Hara Advocacy Winner
Ensemble Travel® Group Members and Staff
Meet in Dublin for Marketing ‘Think-Tank’
NEW YORK, March 12, 2013 – Expanded specialist initiatives, emerging trends, interface, and communications were among key topics discussed at the 2013 Ensemble Travel® Group U.S. Marketing Committee Meeting held March 1-5 at The Shelbourne Dublin. Major sponsors were Ensemble Travel Group partners CIE Tours International and a 5-star property located in the heart of Dublin.
“We look to this group of Ensemble members in the U.S. for input on a number of critical issues relevant to maintaining our organization's competitive position in the marketplace,” said Georganne Shirk, vice president, marketing. “They serve as Ensemble’s ‘direct connect’ to what’s happening at a retail level. And, because the committee is balanced in terms of geography and business model, we feel we’re able to truly deliver solutions that can benefit the entire membership.”
In addition to the engaging business sessions, the committee enjoyed a number of personalized sightseeing experiences by CIE Tours in Dublin and Belfast, including the new Titanic Museum, the world’s largest attraction devoted to the fateful voyage. Evening functions included cocktail receptions and private dinners at The Shelbourne Dublin, The Westin Dublin, and Fitzpatrick Castle. The final night was spent at The Merry Ploughboy Pub for dinner followed by a lively show of traditional Irish songs, dancing, and music.
Ensemble Travel Group members participating in the U.S. Marketing Committee Meeting were Tiffany Freitas of Travel of America, Robbie Gold of Travel Center Tours, Peg Haskins of Viking Travel/The Cruise Shop, Jamie Hoff of Montrose Travel, Scott Kertes of Hartford Holidays Travel, Chuck Maida of All Seasons Travel, Karen McCrink of Atlas Travel International, Ryan McGredy of Moraga Travel, Ryan Ranahan of Crown Cruise Vacations, and Kate Urekew of Circles. In addition to Georganne Shirk, Ensemble staff participating in the meeting were Co-President Libbie Rice and Senior Directors Susan Gannon (cruise), Suzanne Hall (land), and Marc Jacobsen (technology).
Prior to the marketing meeting, seven of the members and staff participated in a three-day familiarization tour in Liverpool, sponsored by Visit Liverpool and Paull Tickner & Associates. The trip was a result of the interest in the destination following the 2012 Ensemble “Come Together” conference in Las Vegas, where Liverpool and The Beatles were showcased.
Among the FAM highlights were visits to The Beatles Story, Tate Liverpool, childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, Liverpool Football Club Anfield Stadium, Casbah Coffee Club, Cavern Club, and a live recording session at SAE Institute. Evening events included receptions and dinners at A Hard Days Night Hotel, the Anglican Cathedral, and FAM tour host Hope Street Hotel. During the tour, Ensemble members Peg Haskins and Scott Kertes were guests on a BBC radio morning talk show to share their feedback on Liverpool’s vibe and warm hospitality.
September 10, 2012
ASTA/ITSA Names Haskins, Thomas O’Hara Advocacy Winner
September 10, 2012ASTA/ITSA Names Haskins, Thomas O’Hara Advocacy Winner
This is the second year in which two awards were given. Haskins and Thomas were honored because of their action in support of ASTA’s advocacy programs -- Haskins for his leadership and fundraising efforts on behalf of ASTAPAC, and Thomas for his leadership of the Corporate Advisory Council and his tremendous work in inspiring grassroots engagement. The award is presented each year by ITSA to the ASTA member or members who have made the most significant contribution in advocating for the interests of the travel agency community before federal, state and/or local governmental authorities.
“John Haskins is a force of nature and has for years set the gold standard in generating member donations to ASTAPAC,” said Bruce Charendoff, senior vice president, government and external affairs at Sabre Holdings, who presented the award on behalf of ITSA. “His prior chairmanship of ASTAPAC and his ongoing efforts in the Midwest chapter have ensured that ASTAPAC remains among the top travel industry PAC’s and that the Midwest consistently outperforms every other chapter in the country, by a wide margin, in terms of hard dollars and soft dollars raised, member participation, and all other relevant metrics. No person on the planet is more responsible than John for the success of ASTAPAC.”
Haskins began his professional life selling farm equipment, but since 1976, he and his wife Peg have operated Viking Travel, growing it from a small agency to a powerhouse, with seven specialized divisions and employing nearly 50 travel professionals. In 2005, Haskins became the chairman of ASTA's Political Action Committee (ASTAPAC). Since then, he has worked to promote ASTA's agenda and initiatives, as well as raise awareness of the committee's work among the Society’s members. With the assistance of ASTA’s Corporate Advisory Council, Haskins established ASTAPAC’s popular charitable match program. Since then, personal donations have grown significantly. Haskins has helped raise more than $333,000 for ASTAPAC.
In 2007, Haskins won ASTA’s Travel Agent of the Year Award, which recognizes an active travel agent member who has made a great contribution to the travel industry and whose outstanding influence and professional activity have advanced the status of travel agents.
Local Travel Agent Awarded
"Elite Cruise Counsellor" Designations
Naperville, IL – July 12, 2011
Linda Furlan of The Cruise Shop/Viking Travel in Naperville has been designated a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Elite Cruise Counsellor (ECC), after recently completing the organization's numerous certification requirements.
Ms. Furlan is now recognized within the cruise industry as having achieved the prestigious ECC designation – at the pinnacle of possible accolades awarded by CLIA. The ECC designation is conferred by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) upon dedicated travel professionals who have completed an extensive program of classroom training, cruise experience, ship inspections, and industry events.
CLIA's Certification program graduates are widely recognized as the foremost cruise vacation experts among North American travel agents.
The Cruise Shop/Viking Travel is one of more than 16,000 North American travel agency members of CLIA. According to CLIA statistics, the overwhelming majority of travelers – about 90% – book their cruise through a travel agency, and for good reason: travel agents understand the products they recommend, and excel in finding the perfect cruise to match their clients' needs, lifestyle, and budget.
CLIA's Certified Cruise Counsellors are the cruise industry's premiere travel agents, and can arrange all of your vacations needs while providing the greatest service and value for your vacation dollar.
To contact Linda Furlan, ECC, call The Cruise Shop in Naperville at (630) 357-7447, or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Ensemble Travel® Group
Founded in 1968, Ensemble Travel® Group is a proactive, member-owned international organization of nearly 900 professional travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada. Ensemble Travel Group members are known for creating extraordinary vacations for their clients traveling domestically as well as around the world.
Email or call a location convenient to you for more information about anything you see posted here:
Naperville, IL: 800-523-0911
Westmont, IL: 800-233-3963
Katy, TX: 800-459-3996