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Your Travel Practice and Social Consciousness

Anyone who reads this column with any regularity knows I have a strong prejudice for written business plans. If I may, I want to suggest we carve out a small section of our business plans for one more set of goals and promises. Travel professionals have a powerful opportunity to influence a wide swath of public opinion regarding the environment and the people with whom clients will interact in their travels. Our own self interest suggests we do our best to be good stewards of both destinations and the indigenous, but the opportunity extends far beyond self interest. Read the rest of this entry »

Sapphire Princess emerged today from a two-week dry dock in Singapore. The ship has been upgraded with refit onboard spaces and product innovations. After finishing up a season cruising throughout Asia, Sapphire Princess departed on a 28-day voyage from Singapore to London to begin European voyages to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe including Monte Carlo, Lisbon, Brussels, St. Petersburg, and an opportunity to cruise the Norwegian Fjords during Summer Solstice.

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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 »

Would you LOVE to better understand if a new destination, attraction or package is going to make your clients jump up and shout “YES, I want to go there!”

If you’re like many in our industry you have a pretty good sense of what’s Hot, and what’s Not!  But once in a while does a new trend surprise you? Do you scratch your head and wonder why the sudden interest in something you thought was off the radar screen?

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How I Stay Sane as a Home-Based Professional

For many years, I counseled home-based business people. I was uniquely qualified in that I had owned a successful travel business before entering the world of corporate bureaucracy. When I made the leap back to sole proprietorship, it was baptism by fire and I had to adapt rather quickly. I discovered that as a professional working from home, there were a few things I needed to do differently than working from an office. Five things come to mind that every home-based professional must do to thrive.

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A “New” Cruise Company: Saga Cruises

Have you every had that client request that was challenging to meet, or even impossible? They want a cruise, but they don’t want kids onboard or even younger adults, and they’re traveling solo. Adult only cruises haven’t been available outside of the charter market. We know Virgin Voyages will start sailing in 2020 with an adult only product. But they are not targeting a specific age range, other than adult.  Then, along comes Saga Cruises.

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Africa may be the spot on the planet most famous for safaris (a Swahili word that literally means “journey”) but it’s far from being the only place where travelers can experience close encounters of the critter kind.

Another incredible place for wildlife watching is South Asia, in particular the India, Nepal and Sri Lanka which between them boast scores of national parks and nature reserves that revolve around animals.

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Affordable Class with Cook Travel

Cook Travel, a leader in discounted first class and business travel, has been in operation since 1974. For those 44 years they’ve offered a better, and more affordable, way to travel in style – regardless of whether it’s for business or pleasure. The fact that two-thirds of their clients are returning customers should let you know the dedication they have for offering the best prices.

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Window on Britain

If you, like me and around 2 billion others around the world, watched Saturday’s magnificent Royal Wedding here are a few very good reasons why you should choose the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead as a hub for tours in Britain. Indeed, Windsor is worth very serious consideration as the starting point for tailor-made tours and pre- and post-cruise extensions.

Traditionally, when you get to Heathrow, you then join the weekday traffic jam heading into London. The alternative suggestions in my top three stories will resonate with all your anglophile, frequent travellers to these shores.

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Prove Yourself Wrong!

We all make assumptions on a daily basis. We would all be surprised to see just how many of them are wrong. I have a new challenge for you. Try and prove yourself wrong–at least about the negative things.

When it comes to both your business and personal life, how many times have you said that you can’t do something? Or that something is not possible? Go ahead and take a minute to think about it.

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Make My Life Easy

That was the headline of the article I read on page 14 of the AARP Bulletin. (This is a weekly news “rag” for those of us refusing to take on the behavior of a “fossil.”

The subhead read, “From cookies to cell phones, dog food to discount drug cards, Americans are finding that more is less.” There are just too many choices available to today’s consumer.

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Handcrafted Getaways with Homeric Tours

In 1969, Homeric Tours began packaged tours to Greece. Since then, they have grown from providing memorable getaways to the gorgeous shores of Greece to including other Mediterranean countries, Europe, and Africa as well. This family-owned business has been the trusted supplier of Mediterranean vacation memories for almost 50 years, and they attribute this to the expertise of destinations and the trust that will take care of the traveler.

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Portugal with Back Roads Touring

Portugal is one of the oldest states in Europe. It lies on the very western edge of Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. This country has influenced the world through its maritime explorations, art, and literature. The streets will often be filled with colorful festivals, and many UNESCO World Heritage sites dot its landscape. Back Roads Touring wants you to know all about this glorious country.

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Unvisited Apulia with Globus

Apulia, known by a more modern name of Puglia, a region that rests on the “heel” of Italy. Like the other great cities of Italy, those in this region are steeped in rich history and ancient towns. Though, it is less of a tourist destination, which makes it a good destination for lovers of Italy who want to avoid large crowds. With a hint of Greece, the Apulia region is a perfect getaway for the traveler. Today, thanks to Globus & Cosmos, we’ll be looking at cities and alluring attractions located around Apulia.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina is the perfect mix of Old European influence and the passionate culture of South America. The largest city in Argentina, it was named after the fair winds which drove the trade in and out of the city. This made the city a blender of culture from all around South America, and the world. From classic architecture to some of the best steaks in the world, Buenos Aires will delight the traveler with its sights and sounds.

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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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