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There is absolutely no doubt that a failure to plan is one of the biggest mistakes many business people make.  Without a solid business plan, even the best travel consultant can fail to act consistently in any given aspect of their practice. Planning is truly essential.

But so is action.

I see far too many travel professionals planning their lives away, getting ready to act, and then… not acting! Too many times we over-plan and over-perfect, and in the process lose valuable opportunities to others who are quicker to act.  Read the rest of this entry »


“There are two kinds of people. One kind, you can just tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keep moving, changing… They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing.” – Gail Godwin Read the rest of this entry »


KateI can’t believe it was 26 years ago that I got my first job in the travel industry. My parents had just returned from a big trip overseas booked through Austravel and noticed they were advertising for an administrative assistant in their Bristol, UK office. We always traveled a lot as a family and it seemed like a good fit for a young 18 year old just starting out in her career. I applied, got the job, and never looked back! I quickly moved into their ticketing department and spent a year there, but always yearned to be more involved with the customers and the process of planning their holidays. I moved into sales and was hooked. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with potential travelers and also loved the travel that we got to experience. Read the rest of this entry »


What Travel Agencies Can Learn From Keen Footwear

I discovered the Keen Footwear company just as they emerged on the outdoor footwear scene. Needing a pair of sandals that I could wear in the water when kayaking, I liked Keen’s oversized toe protection. I put them on, walked out of the store, and did not take them off for three years. Living in Asheville at the time, the casual nature of the town matched the footwear and for three years I wore those shoes everyday, hiking, kayaking, running, going to dinner, everywhere. I wore them hard.

Then the laces broke.

I emailed Keen and jokingly complained that after only three years of constant wear, the elastic lace on my right shoe broke. I had repaired the lace by tying it together and was actually pretty content. I forgot about my laces. Until my new ones arrived in the mail.

Someone at Keen had placed two new laces into an envelope and mailed them to me.
Read the rest of this entry »


A lion named Cecil: A cautionary tale

Walter James Palmer was simply a well-to-do dentist in suburban Minneapolis who enjoyed hunting. Until the online world turned against him for killing Cecil, a much beloved lion in a Zimbabwe reserve. Right now, the facts are still emerging. Palmer thought his hunt was legal and proper. But the Court of the Internet has a different opinion. Aside from Bill Cosby, Walter Palmer is now the most hated man on the planet; and right or wrong, this hunt has likely destroyed his life. As travel professionals, we need to pay attention for a few reasons. Read the rest of this entry »


A few weeks ago, I was up on stage in Las Vegas, having been invited by Travel Research Online to give the opening presentation to a robust crowd of independent travel advisors at the Home-Based Agent Forum. While much of what I told them is second-nature to me by now (after 10 years as a luxury travel specialist), preparing for my speech was a terrific way to remind myself of key and basic tenets to success in this business. Read the rest of this entry »


Susan SchafferAccording to the Cyber Cruises order book, there are over fifty cruise ships (a combination of ocean and river vessels) on order for delivery between 2016 and 2020. Fifty. I imagine there are some ships that will be retired during that same time frame, but there won’t be nearly as many retirees as there will be new floats. That will be a lot of new berths to fill, which can be good news or bad news. Read the rest of this entry »


Travel Less, See and Discover More

Many years ago, I formed my love affair with North America by taking advantage of Greyhound’s amazing offer of 99 days of travel for $99. I spent nearly 5 months touring your fine country and still have the Rand McNally map to prove it.

While you and your customers may not have spent as long falling in love with the UK, many will thank you for suggesting a London and York holiday. Here are some reasons why they’d willingly let the train take the strain out of the fast 2-hour journey between the two locations. Read the rest of this entry »


With thirty in service, Adam Travel’s philosophy has always been to cultivated and maintain the highest quality of service for its clients. With the goal of providing a personalized travel experience, Adam Travel has built on these business practices to become one of the nation’s largest travel consolidators. Read the rest of this entry »


The art of the sale

Several months ago I was shopping with my daughter. We walked in a well-known store. We were the only ones in the store besides the two sales associates. Neither associate bothered to greet us, acknowledge us in any way, or even remotely show that they saw someone walk into their establishment. Instead they proceeded to talk to each other and completely ignore us. My daughter and I walked out disgusted and appalled by their behavior. Read the rest of this entry »


Today’s message involves an article I read in the Florida Sun Sentinel.

It involved customer service, and this particular article featured the DHL Freight & Shipping Company as an example of how to do things right.

Well, as I might have expected, in came a few emails with examples to the contrary as far as DHL’s professionalism and care for their customers were concerned.

I am sure that with a company the size and width of DHL, one could expect a few balls to drop now and then. But that is not the point of today’s message. Read the rest of this entry »


Peter Wen has worked at Chinatour.com for just over 3 years and is currently the Sales Director at the company. Born and raised in China, Peter came to the United States to peter wen headshotpursue a graduate degree and eventually graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Master’s degree in Economics in 2012. Although working in the travel industry wasn’t his first choice, he found himself highly passionate about helping travel agents know more about the ancient country of China. His ultimate goal is make China a more popular destination in the industry and help travel agents realize how easy and profitable it is to sell China packages.   Read the rest of this entry »


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In 2004, a few years after attending Addis Ababa University and receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management, Nigisu Worku joined Ethiopian Airlines as a college trainee. In those early years at the airline, Nigisu served in variety of roles that included Analyst, Senior Analyst, assistant to the COO, and assistant to the CEO. While assisting members of the C-Suite, Nigisu continued his education at Addis Ababa University, earning a Master of Arts Degree in Marketing Management. He briefly served as interim country manager in Equatorial Guinea and then in Canada before being appointed as the Country Manager for Canada in 2013. In that role he headed sales and marketing, as well as airport operations. Nigisu currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his spouse and two sons. Read the rest of this entry »


I can’t believe it’s August already. The year is two-thirds over. When last I posted, I was majorly pumped about exhibiting at CruiseWorld. As I sit here right now, I am majorly pumped over going to Mexico City for a whirlwind four day FAM trip—leaving in two days.

But, today is one of those days. Right now I am waiting for my contact at CruiseWorld to finalize the details of my presentation. I am waiting for the FAM leader to fill me in on the details of getting to the hotel and checking in before the fun starts. I am waiting on my invitation to the Norwegian Escape Pre-Inaugural, which I have heard are going out “any day now.”   I am waiting for someone else to get back to me on a  pre-cruise hotel stay before the Escape inaugural in November. Read the rest of this entry »



The French Riviera has always been the quintessential idea of a relaxing European vacation: beaches, crumbling castles, and exquisite culture and art. That legacy continues on today in villages like Antibes, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Éze, and Monte Carlo. Let ShoreTrips guide you to the most breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, perfume-laden rose gardens, and to artistic inspiration itself.

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Las Vegas needs no introduction: “Sin City”, “The Entertainment Capital Of The World”, and “The City Of Lights”, all spot-on descriptions of this dusty desert city. While most think they know the real Las Vegas, all glitz and glamor with sequins falling from the sky, there is so much more beyond the Strip and all its casinos. You can scale rust-colored sandstone canyons, enchanted by dazzling acrobatics, and visit some of the best entertainment of the past and present.

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Copenhagen is a big city with the heart of a small town. Despite its metropolitan flair, with contemporary restaurants, nightlife, and attractions, the city retains its cozy atmosphere and easy navigability. The city has plenty of surprises waiting, and Trans Am will show you everything Copenhagen has to offer! Read the rest of this entry »