The voice of the travel agency community

Revisit Your Marketing Calendar

Maybe you have noticed the “new car smell” is gone off of this year.  Already we are deep into 2015. It’s time to get moving. Every reader of my travel marketing column knows I think written business plans are important. Organization is essential. Clarity of expression and correctly assessing markets are requirements. But not a one of these is worth anything without ACTION. Along with every Marketing Plan (what to do) you need to write an Action Plan (how and when). Too many times we over-plan and over-perfect and in the process lose valuable opportunities to others who are quicker to act. It’s time to take another look at our marketing calendar. Read the rest of this entry »

There is life in Antarctica, human life. In fact, the population of Antarctica ranges from about 1,000 people to 5,000 people throughout the year. They work at research stations, some of which cruise ships visit. On one day of our voyage, Seabourn Quest anchored within sight of the González Videla Base, a Chilean Research Station on the Antarctic mainland’s Waterboat Point in Paradise Bay. Read the rest of this entry »

ERICA_SCANNELLIIn my 6th grade yearbook, where other kids speculated on their futures as Olympic athletes, fire fighters, and millionaires, my career ambition was to be a Travel Agent. I didn’t re-discover this until recently and, looking back, it seems I was destined for this profession! I loved watching and reading about other people and cultures as a child; as a teen, I took my first international trip to Paris and I was hooked! Read the rest of this entry »

Adam HodgeAdam Hodge is a digital content editor at Goway Travel, a travel provider that has been in operation since 1970. Adam earned a degree in Business Commerce from Ryerson University in 2008 and has been with Goway since 2010, both as an agent and as a member of marketing personnel. We spoke to Adam about what it takes to create social media content of the highest caliber in the travel industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Assure your emails are read; 5 keys

I am a huge believer in the power of email. Huge! While it is often easier to get more reach with social media today, email still remains the more powerful medium. Social media is like Wal-Mart. People will come in, look around, maybe spill something in aisle 15 causing a disruption, and leave. They may buy. But more often than not, they will leave without a purchase. Email is different. Email is more like your house. You have sent them an invite to a party and they have accepted because they want to be with you; not because they just happened to be in the neighborhood. So, it only makes sense that email is a more powerful sales and marketing tool…if used correctly. Unfortunately, most emails disappear without a trace.  Here are 5 keys to making yours more effective: Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing What I Know As I Go

Have you set your goals for 2015 yet? Do they include becoming more organized and maybe a little less frazzled this year, as you aim to increase your luxury travel sales? Mine do, as it seems they do every year. In this world of luxury travel, staying organized, focused and efficient, along with being ridiculously detail-oriented, has to stay top priority pretty much all of the time. The start of a new year is a perfect time to create a “Vision Board” or maybe, as I did this year, an ongoing “Vision Journal” that can be started in January and added to throughout the entire year.
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Susan SchafferFor those of you who sell cruises, if a cruise line lets you block group space without any kind of bulk deposit commitment from you, why wouldn’t you do it? Most cruise lines, with one or two exceptions, allow you to block anywhere from 8 to 32 rooms without having to pony up a bulk deposit within 30-60 days. Read the rest of this entry »

Do you have your act together?

Which of these two stories defines your organization?

#1 – I do the work.

I called a store and asked about a replacement glass cover for a kitchen light fixture. I was told that I would have to take a picture of the part and come into the store since they did not have a computer. I am not saying a computer makes or breaks a business. I am saying that the burden was quickly transferred onto my shoulders and what at first appeared as an easy fix was becoming more difficult by the second.

Or this one? Read the rest of this entry »

GOGO Vacations is a leading US travel wholesaler, providing the very best in products and packages to travel professionals. Their unwavering commitment to the travel agent community is one that runs strong and deep, offering support and responsiveness that is unparalleled in this space. Read the rest of this entry »

Crunching the numbers–Travel agency math

I love this time of year. A chance to get caught up doing things I seemingly never have the time to do. The most important action of evaluating how I did last year, and what revenue I want to earn this year!

I admit; I’ve never been a “numbers” person, so taking the time to do the math to figure out what revenue I need to earn next year, on a weekly basis is scary. But now that I have, it does bring great clarity.

I could never remember the formula until I wrote it down and I will share it with you! Read the rest of this entry »

Today, I want you to envision a large pie cut into three, large pieces. One piece consists of half the pie, while the other two represent 25% each. Can you see it? Read the rest of this entry »

Rental Escapes is a leading luxury villa rental and concierge agency based out of Montreal, Canada. Their website features a curated collection of the world’s finest private villas and estates. Read the rest of this entry »

LeeAnn Roper Cumbow’s career within the world of travel began in 1992 with Northwest Airlink as one of their flight attendants. In 1997, she shifted gears and launched her career with Vacation Express as one of their travel agents. She immediately caught the attention of Vacation Express executives, and in 1998, Cumbow became their Business Development Manager for Memphis.
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Hi everyone! I’m Susan, but everyone calls me Smitty; and I am an independent contractor with Priceless Cruising. I specialize in ocean and river cruises and have been in business since 2006, having earned my ACC with CLIA in 2013. So…a little about me and how I fit into the travel industry!

I love to cruise and more importantly, to send people on cruises. On our first cruise in 1991, our agent never really ‘prepared’ us. She just said it would be wonderful and we would have a great time. We did, but on the last day when they told us to put our luggage out in the hall at night, I had no idea that was part of standard cruise routine. Lesson learned. Read the rest of this entry »

Imagine a destination that encompasses everything you could ever want out of a vacation and more. Picture sandy beaches, snowcapped mountains, rolling hills, coastal roadways, aquariums and zoos, historical landmarks, bars and cafes, wineries and vineyards, and abundant wildlife. A destination like this seems almost too good to be true. Think again. Let Down Under Answers take you on an unforgettable journey through one of Australia’s most fascinating and diverse regions: Victoria.

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As Israel’s leading luxury hotel chain, Dan Hotels provides a unique hospitality experience at international standards, with its properties continually ranking in annual listings for the best hotels around the world. Read the rest of this entry »

A dreamland full of fairy tale-like castles, charming villages, picturesque landscapes, literary legends, and historical landmarks, it’s no wonder why Ireland is one of the most sought out tourist destinations in the world. Immerse yourself in Irish culture as you embark on an adventure through Ireland with Journeys Connect.  Read the rest of this entry »