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Are you a “Travel Agent”?

Words matter. The decision to style an occupation one way or another can make a tremendous difference in the public’s perception of a profession. “Flight attendants” used to be “stewards” and that “waitress” at dinner last night was a “server.” However, the person who opened your wine was a sommelier. Had a professional massage lately?  If so, in 38 states you had a licensed practitioner known as a “massage therapist”, not a “masseuse.”  In the other twelve states…well, you tell us. Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announces itineraries and shore excursion categories for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Whether visiting a celebrated destination or one that is off the beaten path, guests will benefit from a dedicated Concierge Ashore in addition to five distinct categories of shore excursions, including Iconic Sights; Stirring the Senses; Cultural Connections; Active Explorations; and Epicurean Experiences.

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The one certainty about trade show promotion is it is harder than it looks. The entire process must be a well coordinated and timed convergence of the right suppliers, the right speakers and a collection of travel professionals. This year, Travel Show Marketing Group’s Las Vegas Travel Agent Forum demonstrated how adept the group has become at putting together an exceptional travel agent trade show and received well deserved praise from both suppliers and travel professionals for their efforts.

The Stats: 900 travel agents in attendance with 130 Hosted Agents each whom boasted a vetted one million dollar annual production. More than 280 vendors were on site to exhibit, in total more than 1,700 travel professionals from across the world.  Read the rest of this entry »

Be a Better Choice

I just returned from the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas. If you haven’t been, it is a great show to learn and network. I moderated a couple of panels and afterwards several agents were asking me about the “legitimacy” of several organizations in the host agency arena. I thought this is a great time to revisit a column I wrote last year on the subject.

Last week, an interesting post on one of the newer travel agent Facebook groups caught my attention.

A person made a very public declaration that she was leaving the group because she only wanted to associate and share ideas with what she considered to be “real and legitimate” travel agents.

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Travel Agent Beware

Travel agents need to beware of supplier policies which can impact our commissions. I learned a painful lesson the hard way, so I’m sharing it here in hopes that other travel agents can avoid my pain. Here it is: not all supplier gift cards or credit cards are travel agent friendly.

Here’s My Experience

My local grocery store gives double fuel points for gift card purchases, and sometimes they will offer quadruple fuel points. It was during one of these 4x points times that I purchased some cruise line gift cards to apply to my own cruise. What I did not know in advance was that these gift cards are applied as a cruise fare credit, not as a payment. What happens when the cruise fare is reduced with a credit

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Founded in 2017 by husband and wife duo Jeff and Gina Paglialonga, Teeming River Cruises has come a long way from its beginnings. Jeff and Gina are no strangers to the travel industry. These high school sweethearts have been traveling the world for years, having visited 6 of 7 continents and giving everyone in their family the gift of travel. This led them to create a river cruise company that caters to the passengers needs and explorations, a chance for travelers to customize how they want to spend their hard-earned vacation time.

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As a cruise junkie (40+ cruises), a professional travel writer and photographer, and a normal human, I never leave home without my Apple iPhone X. Despite this, I would never go on a cruise with just a smartphone or tablet as my only camera.

Most of your cruise clients probably own smartphones or tablets. For the past few years, these devices have had state-of-the-art cameras built into them. Under most situations, they produce some great pictures. Sending photos to others via emails or texts is easy, and all the images are stored in the Cloud where even you can’t lose them. Most importantly, clients will be shooting with a camera that they already know how to use.

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Host Hunting

There is a TV show that I occasionally watch called “House Hunters,” which is a reality-style national television series about finding and purchasing a new home. The show takes viewers behind the scenes as individuals, couples and families learn what to look for and decide whether or not a home is meant for them. Focusing on the “emotional experience” of finding and purchasing a new home, each episode shows the process as the buyers go through the search.

The same emotions and decision factors can be similar when looking for a good home (host) to place your business.

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Serenity and Class with Saga Cruises

With a new ship on the horizon, Saga Cruises is sailing into 2018 with class and style. For 65 years they have provided cruisers over 50 with an enjoyable experience to remember. It is a quintessentially British cruise line, with afternoon tea provided free of charge. Though, this doesn’t mean that others from around the world will not enjoy their serene routes.

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Ronen Nissenbaum, President and CEO, Dan Hotels

Ronen Nissenbaum is the new President and CEO of Dan Hotels. He has rich and extensive background in the hotel industry in Israel and overseas. He has served as Vice President of Luxury Operations for Hilton Hotels, and was responsible for 15 hotels and three hotels in pre-opening stages. He has also served as the Managing Director of Waldorf-Astoria in New York, one of the most famous hotels in the world. In addition, Nissenbaum held a number of senior positions with InterContinental. And, three years opening Disneyland in Paris.

 

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A City with Rich History, Tel Aviv with Dan Hotels

Tel Aviv, translated as ‘The Hill of Spring’, is a modern and fresh city in Israel. The city has a mix of beaches for relaxation and a vibrant, cosmopolitan cityscape. All of this, combined with its roots to Judaism creates a stark, yet familiar, connection to Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is chock full of cultural happenings, and Dan Hotels wants you know all about this great city.

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According to mythology Crete was the hiding place of Zeus as a newborn, brought by the goddess Rhea to be raised in peace. It’s easy to understand why the people thought this. Crete is a place where you can find beautiful beaches, ancient culture, and fulfilling cuisine. It’s an all-in-one island getaway with a link to thousands of years of history. Thanks to Cosmopolitan Travel Service, you’ll find out a bit more about this paradise.

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A Fresh Passport to Paradise

Travel Agent Marshall O’Hearn shares one of his client stories for this week’s Travel Agent Diaries entry.

My clients were booked for what was supposed to be a beautiful and relaxing trip to Sandals Regency La Toc in Saint Lucia. They were scheduled to leave on a Tuesday. Their itinerary had them flying Delta into Atlanta, for a short layover, before completing their journey to Saint Lucia. However, a Nor’easter came through and was going to hit on that same day, which would have severely disrupted their travels!

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