Freebies and FAMs

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You could be sitting alongside this quiet lake at Banyan Tree Phuket.
You could be sitting alongside this quiet lake at Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary, Phuket.

Everything listed here is meant to get you, our trusted travel professionals, out on a spectacular working—but not too hard—vacation. And you can hardly say no to that, can you?

After announcing a partnership with the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), ET African Journeys and Ethiopian Airways is offering discounted FAM trips to Ethiopia.

The tour spends seven days in Ethiopia, which is one of only two African nations to have never been colonized by Europeans. It boasts nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and agents can expect to visit Bahir Dar, Lalibela, and Gondar, in addition to cruising on Lake Tana and visiting Addis Ababa’s Trinity Cathedral.

Also included in the tour are three days spent in Durban, South Africa for the annual Indaba Trade Show, from May 12-14.

This FAM trip is only available from May 5-14. The trip is $3,250 pp dbl, and includes roundtrip airfare from Washington D.C. Dulles, all flights within Africa, all sightseeing and entrance fees, an APTA escort throughout, travel insurance and more. For more information, call (800) 662-5406 or visit

To reward graduates of its new Xtraordinary Travel Consultants (XTC) University program, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts is offering qualifying agents the chance to win a 2-night stay in a Spa Suite Villa at Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary in Phuket, Thailand.

XTC University educates agents on food and beverage, accommodations, and amenities offered through Banyan Tree properties.

To qualify to win the prize, travel agents or IATA-licensed travel advisors must complete Banyan Tree’s XTC University course and pass the final exam by May 31. For more information, visit

And for the Freebies—one of the most popular agent rewards programs offered by Vacation Express—travel professionals can earn one free night for themselves and a companion for each booking they make at qualifying hotels.

Agents receive their Freebie voucher via e-mail after the client has left the property. Freebies are valid for travel during low season dates—typically April 15-Dec. 15—but each hotel has a minimum stay requirement for agents.

About this, Renee Wood, director of new business development for Vacation Express, says,  “Savvy agents have learned through the years to sell certain hotels repeatedly, when the fit is right for their clients. Agents then redeem multiple vouchers for the same hotel.”

For more information, call (800) 309-4717 or visit